Not only is Gloucestershire versus Yorkshire a clash between two counties with new coaches at the helm for 2022, the two men in charge are former colleagues and the closest of friends.
Come Thursday morning at Bristol, Ottis Gibson takes charge of Yorkshire for the first time in a competitive fixture, whereas his former Durham team-mate Dale Benkenstein got a week’s head start as Gloucester opened their LV= Insurance County Championship campaign with a draw against Northamptonshire last week.
Gibson and Benkenstein have played with and against each other and have worked together across the last 30 years or so, including being trophy-winning team-mates at Durham in the mid-2000s.
“We spent a lot of time playing cricket together in Durham, even before that,” explained Gibson.
“Dale came to Barbados to play as an 18 or 19-year-old, and I went to South Africa and played against him a lot. When I went to South Africa as head coach, he was my batting coach.
“We’ve always been good friends.
“We share the same view of cricket in that you work hard in preparation and then you go out and enjoy performing.
“You are not going to perform extraordinarily every time, but you can be consistent.
“I enjoyed playing under him as a captain. His cricket brain is excellent.”
Of course, the pair have already spent time together since taking on their respective new roles at Headingley and Nevil Road.
“We shared some stories in Dubai a few weeks ago, but we hardly talked about playing against each other as coaches,” added Gibson.
“When we get together, we end up talking about all sorts of other things.
“I’m very close to his family, his kids, and we talk about that more than anything else.
“I’m sure we’ll have dinner at some point during the game. It’s his turn to buy, so I’m looking forward to that!”