County opposition for Warwicks in Barbados

Warwickshire will play county rivals Essex and Hampshire on their pre-season tour of Barbados in March.

They are among five counties who have opted to prepare for the earliest-ever start to the County Championship season with some warm weather training in the Caribbean and they have pencilled in a two-day match against Essex and a 40-over contest against Hampshire during their two-week trip.

Warwickshire will also play hosts Barbados in a floodlit Twenty20 match during their tour which will start on March 15 and end on March 30.

The county also intend to play a pre-season friendly against Leicestershire at Grace Road when they return to England. They miss out on the opening round of County Championship matches, which start on April 8, but will play a first-class friendly against Durham MCCU at Durham, starting on April 9.

Ashley Giles, Warwickshire’s director of cricket, intends to take his full playing squad to the Caribbean though he is likely to be missing five key players.

Batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott will be on World Cup duty with England and opening batsman Will Porterfield, a winter recruit from Gloucestershire, and paceman Boyd Rankin will be playing for Ireland in the same tournament.

All-rounder Chris Woakes has been named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad but if he misses the final cut he will link up with the England Lions squad who will be competing in the West Indies domestic first-class competition.

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