YORKSHIRE’S first-team squad are back in action today when they take on Derbyshire in a two-day friendly at The Incora County Ground.

Coach Andrew Gale will use an identical squad to that which faced Middlesex in a two-day friendly at Northwood on Monday and Tuesday.

The fixture is planned to take the same format as the Middlesex fixture - both counties bat for 90 overs apiece, but split into innings of 60 overs and 30 overs each day in order to manage bowlers’ workloads.

“The only downside is the weather,” said White Rose director of cricket Martyn Moxon. “It doesn’t look good, particularly on Friday, so we’ll have to see how that pans out. But, in principle, it’s going to be the same as the two days we’ve just played.”

Yorkshire will then return to Emerald Headingley for a pair of three-day, non-first-class, university friendlies against Leeds/Bradford and Durham next week.

They host Leeds/Bradford from Monday to Wednesday and then Durham from Saturday to the following Monday ahead of the LV= Insurance County Championship opener against Glamorgan at Headingley on April 8.

With the majority of university courses across the country limited to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, it may be a surprise to some that the fixtures are taking place.

But Moxon explained: “They were in doubt. But the government gave the universities elite status, so they were able to come back to training.

“Certainly with Durham University, they have a few players on county staffs. So they have been allowed to train even earlier.

“With that elite status they have been given, fortunately they feel they are going to be ready to play against us. That’s going to be a really useful six days.

“We find playing against the universities really useful matches. They’ve been very beneficial to us in the past, and I’m sure it will be the same again this year.

“They are much better than intra-squad games, playing against different opposition.

“Let’s hope we get the weather to enable us to play the full six days.

“Then we should have a really good lead in to Glamorgan on April 8 and what is going to be a challenging eight-game trot in the County Championship.

“We need to get the bowlers’ workloads up so they can cope with that run of fixtures. Hopefully we can get our batters in good form as well.”

Opening batsman Adam Lyth is likely to be ready to feature in at least one of the university friendlies after suffering a calf injury during his time away at the T10 League in Abu Dhabi and the Pakistan Super League in January and February.

Fast bowler Duanne Olivier may also feature having finished his quarantine period earlier this week following his arrival from South Africa.