Captain Wayne Madsen believes Friday night fixtures in the new NatWest T20 Blast competition will create an exciting spectacle in 2014.
The County Ground, Derby, will stage four Friday night Twenty20 fixtures next summer, including the East Midlands derby against Nottinghamshire Outlaws on Friday 6th June.
As part of an action-packed season, Derbyshire will also host a three-day tour match against world number two Test side India on Tuesday 1st July in MS Dhoni’s men’s final warm-up ahead of the Investec Test series with England.
This will be followed a week later by the Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, as the picturesque Queen’s Park will once again provide the perfect backdrop to two Twenty20s – against Yorkshire Vikings and Leicestershire Foxes – and a LV= County Championship clash with Essex.
The Club’s Player of the Year Madsen is already looking forward to the new campaign and hopes his side can get off to a good start with the trip to Leicestershire on the opening day of the season.
“They look pretty good for us,” he said. “We start with a trip to Grace Road where hopefully we can start with a bang.
“It’s also exciting to have four fixtures on a Friday night, plus two Sundays at Chesterfield in the new NatWest T20 Blast competition where there will be a fantastic atmosphere.
“The standout games will be the Twenty20 matches against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at the County Ground and the Yorkshire Twenty20 at Chesterfield. I’m sure both will be well attended.
“Another match that jumps out is the India tour match which will be an exciting game. It will be good for us to test ourselves against an international outfit as they prepare for their Test series with England.
“For me, it’ll also be nice to go back to Cheltenham to play Gloucestershire. This was where I made my debut for Derbyshire and it’ll be great to go back next summer for the first time since then.”
Madsen believes the side’s hectic mid-summer schedule will be a testing period, but insists the Derbyshire squad has enough strength in depth to deal with the challenges ahead.
“July will be a really busy month for us,” he added. “We’ve got 19 days of cricket in a 22-day period.
“That month will be jam packed and extremely busy. It will really test the mental and physical state of the team so July could be quite an interesting month for us.
“We will have to rotate players, especially the bowlers, and manage players to make sure they are not over worked. But I’m confident we have enough talent and depth to deal with this testing period.
“We will work on this over the coming months to work out the best strategy and to make sure we are prepared come July.
”Now the fixtures are out, the season now seems that little bit closer and all the lads are working hard to be fit and ready. We’re all looking forward to getting back out there and playing some cricket.”
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