The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the fixtures for the 2012 county season.
The first round of LV= County Championship matches starts on Thursday 5 April with the last round commencing on Tuesday 11 September.
Division One champions Lancashire will travel to Abu Dhabi for the traditional season curtain-raiser against MCC before beginning the defence of their title at Old Trafford versus Sussex from Thursday 12 April.
The Clydesdale Bank 40, the first limited-overs competition, begins on Friday 4 May with holders Surrey taking on Somerset in a repeat of the 2011 final.
The competition format again sees the 18 first-class counties joined by Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns. The final, on Saturday 15 September at Lord’s, marks the end of the 2012 domestic season.
In 2012 the domestic Twenty20 competition, the Friends Life t20, involves the 18 first-class counties divided into three geographical groups with each team playing every other side in their group home and away. The top two teams in each group plus the two third-placed teams with the best records progress to the quarter-final stage.
The FLt20 begins on Tuesday 12 June with champions Leicestershire against Nottinghamshire at Grace Road in a floodlit fixture. The group stage runs throughout June and finishes on Sunday 8 July ahead of quarter-finals on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 July. FLt20 finals day is on Saturday 25 August at Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium for the first time in the competition’s history.
Download England County Cricket 2012 Schedule & Fixtures