Hampshire: Craig White excited for County Championship Division One challenge

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Hampshire: Craig White excited to face former county Yorkshire first up
Specsavers County Championship
Opening round: Friday, 7 April - Monday, 11 April Final round: Monday, 25 September - Friday, 28 September
Coverage: Ball-by-ball BBC local radio commentary of every match in Division One and Division Two, plus live text coverage of every round of fixtures on the BBC Sport website.

Hampshire coach Craig White knows there will be "no easy games" in the County Championship this season as he bids to help keep the county in Division One.

White was appointed as the county's head coach in November following Dale Benkenstein's departure.

Hampshire face White's former county Yorkshire home and away in their first three Championship fixtures.

"We've got to look at it as a real opportunity," he told BBC Radio Solent. "We going out to compete and to win."

Hampshire were reprieved from relegation to Division Two in October following Durham's punishment for financial irregularities and are expecting a tough test in the new eight-team top division.

They start at Headingley on Friday, and then host defending champions Middlesex in the following round of fixtures.

"It's a tough start, but I don't think there are going to be any easy games this year," White continued. "The boys realise that and they're up for the challenge that lies ahead."

Hampshire will be without seam bowler Reece Topley for the opener against Yorkshire but are expected to give starts to Kolpak signings Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw.

Left-armer Topley, 23, is continuing to build his fitness after several injury setbacks over the past year - including fracturing a hand, developing a stress fracture in his back and requiring shoulder surgery.

Former West Indies paceman Fidel Edwards has been included in the squad but will have a late fitness test.

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