England captain Alastair Cook is awarded a benefit year by Essex, for whom he made his first-class debut in 2003.
Durham will start the defence of their County Championship title with an away game against Northants on 13 April next year.
Essex seamer David Masters signs a one-year extension to his contract, keeping him at Chelmsford until 2015.
Essex's Tymal Mills hopes time with England squad in Australia will boost his chances of playing international cricket.
Essex sign England and former Sussex spinner Monty Panesar, currently on the Ashes tour of Australia, on a two-year deal.
Left-arm seamers Tymal Mills and Harry Gurney will fly to Australia to provide practice for England batsmen before the Ashes.
Essex will try to sign Monty Panesar but head coach Paul Grayson says other clubs are interested in the spinner.
Seam bowler Maurice Chambers joins newly promoted Northamptonshire from Division Two side Essex on a two-year deal.
Essex all-rounder Graham Napier signs a new two-year contract with the Chelmsford club following his best-ever season.
Spinner Monty Panesar says making the Ashes squad was the boost he needed after a controversial nightclub incident.
Essex spinner Monty Panesar receives a suspended one-match ban from county cricket after accepting a charge of misconduct.
BBC commentators select and give the lowdown on county cricket's best XI of 2013
Matt Coles takes 10 wickets in the match as Hampshire ease to an innings victory over Essex in Southampton.
Hampshire's Matt Coles takes six wickets as Essex's promotion bid is ended by failing to claim maximum batting points.
Essex all-rounder Greg Smith has ended uncertainty about his future by agreeing a new two-year deal with the county.
Hampshire's Michael Carberry celebrates his call-up to England's Ashes squad to tour Australia in style against Essex.
Essex batsman Owais Shah is to retire from four-day cricket to concentrate on his limited-overs commitments.
Essex's hopes of promotion suffered a major blow as they could only draw with Glamorgan in a rain-hit match.
Essex's Jaik Mickleburgh scores a ton against Glamorgan before rain ends play and leaves the match set for a draw.
David Masters takes 5-68 to ensure promotion-chasing Essex claim full bowling bonus points against Glamorgan.