The 2021 county championship is just around the corner and we can't wait. With the first game starting on the 8th of April, we're going to be previewing every single county through March to make sure you have all the key information that you need.
Both the County Championship trophy and the Bob Willis Trophy can be won by any of the 18 first-class counties and can be won by the same team.
For the second year in a row, we'll see a brand new structure to the 2021 county championship season. The ECB have made it a point to stress that this set-up is for 2021 and 2021 alone, it isn't the "new normal".
The 18 first-class counties will be split into three divisions of 6.
All counties will then play 10 matches, 5 home and 5 away.
The top two teams from each group will then move into Division One for the second phase
The remaining 12 teams will be split into Division Two and Division Three.
During the second stage of the competition. All teams will play a further four games.
The team that finishes top of Division One will be crowned County Champions 2021.
The County Champions and the team that finishes second will then compete for the Bob Willis Trophy.
Group 1: Derbyshire, Durham, Essex, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
Group 2: Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey
Group 3: Glamorgan, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Yorkshire
The schedule is what we all expected it to be. The majority of the fixtures will be played in April and May where the weather is unpredictable and the wickets are fast. Expect the seamers to get plenty of movement and for batsmen to have to work hard for their runs. The second stage of the competition will take place in September, with the Bob Willis Trophy final running into October.
First Divisional Stage
Rounds 1-10: April 8th to July 11th (With a month gap in June)
Second Divisional Stage
Round 1: Aug 30 – Sept 2 Round 2: Sept 5-8 Round 3: Sept 12-15 Round 4: Sept 21-24
Bob Willis Trophy Final: Sept 27-Oct 1
The ECB have kept the same rules for the re-structured championship this season with the same point scoring structure.
Teams will be awarded 16 points for a victory, 8 points for a tie, or 5 points for a draw.
Batting Points 200 to 249 runs - 1 point 250 to 299 runs - 2 points 300 to 349 runs - 3 points 350 to 399 runs - 4 points 400 runs or over - 5 points
Bowling Points 3 to 5 wickets taken - 1 point
6 to 8 wickets taken - 2 points
9 to 10 wickets taken - 3 points