***Due to a wet outfield, the first day of the match between Yorkshire and Essex has been cancelled.***
Our event of the day is the first day of the clash between Yorkshire and Essex at Headingley in Leeds, as the start of the new County Championship Division One season gets underway. Two more fixtures of the competition begin today as Hampshire face Worcestershire and Lancashire meet Nottinghamshire. Along with Surrey and Somerset, these eight county clubs will fight for the Division One title until the end of September, facing each opponent twice over 14 rounds. Essex are reigning champions – last year’s triumph been their first since 1992 and seventh overall since the establishment of the first-class cricket championship in 1890. Yorkshire hold the record with an astonishing 32 trophies plus one shared, winning their last back in 2015 where they successfully defended their 2014 title.
Bowler Jamie Porter and all-rounder Simon Harmer were instrumental in Essex’ triumphant 2017 season, ending it with most wickets as Porter took 75 and Harmer 72. New head coach Anthony McGrath has them both at his disposal for the start of the new season, but England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, Alastair Cook, will be rested for this and next week’s match versus Lancashire for the champions. The visitors improved their bowling unit by bringing in Australia international Peter Siddle. Yorkshire bowlers Liam Plunkett and David Willey have departed for the Indian Premier League, so the hosts will be reliant on their strong batting line-up with top order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara from India; along with Englishman Gary Ballance, Alex Lees and Adam Lyth. Last year, Essex won both of the season’s fixtures. We’re in for a great duel in the season opener at Headingley.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. After defeats in the opening round, both teams have gone on five-game winning runs. The Hurricanes currently have the third best overall record in the competition with 23 points, whilst the Chiefs have 21 points for the fourth best. In MLB, the Cincinnati Reds come up against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. It’s Day 2 of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. In the Indian Premier League, the Royal Challengers Bangalore encounter the Kings XI Punjab at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. In the NHL playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins face off with the Philadelphia Flyers at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. It’s Day 9 of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia with contests in athletics, boxing, wrestling, shooting and rhythmic gymnastics as highlights. In the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg meet FC Augsburg at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg; while in La Liga, Girona host Real Betis at the Estadi Montilivi in Girona.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Yorkshire CCC (1st picture); Essex Cricket (2nd picture)
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