Worcestershire launch the second half of their Specsavers County Championship programme tomorrow (Sunday) – and the most concentrated period of cricket of the summer.

The County face Derbyshire at Kidderminster and in between July 7 to 24 will play three Championship fixtures and back to back Vitality Blast matches as they launch their defence of the T20 title.

Trips to Durham and Cheltenham complete the trio of Championship matches before the four-day competition is put to bed until late August

Those two games are sandwiched either side of the away floodlit Blast game with Notts Outlaws followed by the start of the home programme against Birmingham Bears less than 24 hours later (July 19).

Worcestershire are currently lying sixth in the Championship but have games in hand on all the sides above them – including two on leaders Glamorgan and third placed Sussex.

Derbyshire are occupying fourth spot with 87 points from eight games compared to Worcestershire’s 81 from seven matches.

Their Director Of Cricket David Houghton spent four years as Head Coach of Worcestershire from 1994-1997 and in his first season oversaw the County’s NatWest Trophy triumph over Warwickshire at Lord’s.

Worcestershire First Team Coach Alex Gidman, looking ahead to the meeting with the Peakites, said: “Once again, a tough challenge. They have played very well.

“They are right up there, having had a good batting performance particularly this week against Middlesex.

“We are under no illusions. It will be another tough game and brilliantly so. The Second Division seems to be very challenging this year. Every team is performing pretty well and Derbyshire are one of those.”

Derbyshire last visited Chester Road for a Championship fixture 20 years ago – their third game at the venue in nine seasons after 1991 and 1993 – and won by six wickets.