Kent given the first shot at title-holders Sussex

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The Independent Online

The county champions Sussex kick off their title defence next season with a match at Hove against Kent on 18 April, the day after they have completed the title-holders' traditional curtain-raiser against MCC at Lord's. Their Championship season concludes with a home game against Worcestershire on 19 September.

Lancashire are likely to be Sussex's main rivals for the title and begin their campaign with a trip to Edgbaston to take on Warwickshire and end against the Second Division winners Surrey at the Oval. Lancashire are due at Hove at the end of May and must wait until after the bulk of the Twenty20 and the onset of Pro40 before the return fixture at Old Trafford.

The Twenty20 Cup will be played in a two-week period up to 6 July, with the quarter-finals following on 17-18 July and finals day on 4 August. The NatWest Pro40 league will begin on 13 July with a match between Worcestershire and Hampshire, the first of 23 to played under floodlights during the season.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is still seeking a sponsor for the 50-over competition formerly known as the C&G Trophy.

Major fixtures for 2007

Curtain-Raiser

Sussex v MCC Starts 13 April, Lord's.

County Championship

Begins 18 April.

Final round of matches begins 19 September.

50-Over Competition (Formerly C&G Trophy)

Group games April to June.

Final 18 August, Lord's.

Twenty20 Cup

Group games 22 June-6 July.

Quarter-finals 17-18 July.

Finals day 4 August.

Natwest Pro40 League

Regular season begins 13 July. Ends 16 September.

Promotion play-off 23 September.

ENGLAND FIXTURES

v West Indies

TESTS 17 May Lord's; 25 May Headingley; 7 June Old Trafford; 15 June Riverside.

TWENTY20 28 June the Oval; 29 June the Oval

ODIs 1 July Lord's; 4 July Edgbaston; 7 July Trent Bridge.

v India

TESTS 19 July Lord's; 27 July Trent Bridge; 9 August the Oval.

ODIs 21 August the Rose Bowl; 24 August Bristol; 27 August Edgbaston; 30 August Old Trafford; 2 September Headingley; 5 September the Oval; 8 September Lord's.

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