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    English County to have earliest start in 2012

    London: The English County is all set to have its earliest start ever next season, with the first round of County matches scheduled to begin on April 5.

    There will be a commemoration match in Abu Dhabi between County champions Lancashire and MCC from March 27. The season will start in all seriousness when Lancashire defend their title against Sussex at Aigburth on April 12.

    One of the biggest T20 tournaments in the world, the Friends Life T20 will kick off on June 12 with the return of 10 round-robin matches. Last year's winner Leicestershire will get the tournament underway against Nottinghamshire at Grace Road.

    The Clydesdale Bank 40, a List A tournament, will see 18 first-class Counties joined by Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns. The first match will be a repeat of last year's final between Surrey and Somerset on May 4. The finals of the 40-40 overs competition at Lord's on September 15 will bring the curtains down on the season.