DERBYSHIRE County Cricket Club have confirmed their 2013 pre-season schedule.
The reigning County Championship Division Two winners will embark on a tour of Barbados next month, playing two two-day matches and two Twenty20 matches, which will be followed, on their return to England, by further friendly ties against Somerset and Nottinghamshire prior to the start of the Division One campaign.
After opening their Barbados programme with a two-day fixture against Northamptonshire on Wednesday, March 13, Derbyshire will contest the T20 Barbados Cup during the weekend that follows, having been paired with Warwickshire Bears in the opening round of fixtures.
The Caribbean action concludes with a two-day fixture against Yorkshire on Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20.
Upon returning from Barbados, pre-season intensifies with a three-day contest against Somerset at Taunton from Monday, April 1 to Wednesday, April 3.
The squad then returns to Derby for a two-day match against fierce local rivals Nottinghamshire at the County Ground, beginning Sunday April 7 at 11am.
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior says players will become increasingly “frustrated” unless the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) softens its stance towards the Indian Premier League.
The ECB only allows England-contracted players to play half of the IPL season because of a clash with Tests in May.
As a result, they are less attractive to IPL franchises, with Prior going unsold in the last two player auctions.
Prior says the scheduling of Tests may have to change to keep players happy.
The Sussex right-hander said: “I’m employed by the ECB, so I do what the ECB says right now.
“If that’s when the Test matches are, then that’s when the Test matches are.
“My priority is playing Test cricket for England and when I am needed to play Test cricket for England I will play.
“The one thing, however, is that the IPL and these Twenty20 competitions are not going away.
“People love them and the players enjoy playing in them, so there are going to be more and more people getting frustrated at the lack of opportunity to play in the IPL.
“So things may have to change in time.”
England is the only Test-playing nation staging matches during the sixth edition of the IPL, which runs from April 3 to May 26.