SUSSEX will begin their County Championship campaign at home to Durham next season.

The Sussex fixture list has been announced and reveals the action will get underway a week later than it did this year on Sunday April 12.

There will be 19 days of County Championship cricket on weekends or bank holidays over the summer at The 1st Central County Ground for head coach Jason Gillespie’s side.

There will also be matches at Arundel, Eastbourne and Horsham, the return of a fixture against national county opposition, as well as seven floodlit Vitality Blast group matches at Hove.

Durham start the ball rolling and there will be further home Championship matches against Leicestershire and Glamorgan and trips to Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire follow before the start of the Vitality Blast at the end of May.

The Argus: Sussex's County Championship fixturesSussex's County Championship fixtures

Sussex Sharks’ first opponents in the T20 competition are Kent Spitfires who arrive on Thursday May 28.

That is one of six home Vitality Blast fixtures under lights on either a Thursday or Friday night for Sharks, who reached the knockout stages last season.

Glamorgan, Hampshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire and Essex Eagles are the team’s other opponents on those occasions, with Somerset visiting on the evening of Wednesday June 3.

Middlesex are the county to miss out on a visit to Hove in the Blast this summer, while the Sharks will not play Somerset away.

Vitality Blast group games run until Sunday July 12, with Sussex also playing three Championship matches – against Middlesex, Derbyshire and Leicestershire at The 1st Central County Ground, Arundel Castle and Grace Road - during this period.

The match at Arundel beginning on Sunday June 28 is the first of three home outground fixtures, meaning that the Sussex men’s first-team will play at four separate venues for the first time since 2008.

Sharks will take on Kent in the Royal London Cup at Eastbourne on Friday July 24, with Gloucestershire their opponents in the same competition when county cricket returns to Horsham on Sunday August 9.

The Argus: Royal London Cup fixturesRoyal London Cup fixturesIn a change from recent seasons, the make-up of the two groups in the Royal London Cup has been decided by a draw rather than by geography.

Sharks’ other two home group matches are against Durham and Middlesex at Hove.

They will play away against Worcestershire, Hampshire, Lancashire and Essex.

The group stage of the competition runs from Sunday July 19 to Sunday August 9.

The play-offs between second and third-placed sides both take place on Thursday August 13 with semi-finals contested between the winners of those matches and the two group winners on Sunday August 16. The final will take place at Trent Bridge on Saturday September 19.

The Argus: Vitality Blast fixturesVitality Blast fixtures

As a warm-up for the tournament, Sussex will travel to The Parks for a one-day encounter with Oxfordshire on Friday July 17 as first-class and national (formerly minor) counties play each other for the first time since 2005.

Meanwhile, Southern Brave will welcome two big-city visitors to Hove in The Hundred next summer.

In the women’s competition, Oval Invincibles are the Brave’s opposition for a floodlit Friday night encounter on July 31, while Manchester Originals will be in town for a mid-week clash on the evening of Wednesday August 12.

Big-hitting Sussex star Danni Wyatt and her England teammate Anya Shrubsole, as well as the world’s No. 1 and No. 4 T20 batters Suzie Bates and Stafanie Taylor have already been confirmed in the Southern Brave squad for the fixtures.

Oval Invincibles have Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson, Rachael Haynes and Dane van Niekerk in their ranks, while Manchester Originals boast Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee as their first four picks.

In the men’s competition, Sussex’s Jofra Archer will reignite rivalries with Steve Smith from this summer’s Ashes on July 19 when Southern Brave take on Welsh Fire at Sophia Gardens. The competition will run throughout the summer holidays from July 17 to August 15.