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County Championship to resume pre-Covid two-division format starting next summer

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County Championship resumes pre-Covid two-division format from next summer – after calls to keep three-group structure from this year with just ONE vote fail to win majority

  • The County Championship was initially held between three groups
  • But because it took a two-thirds majority to continue the format, it fell one vote short
  • The championship will again feature two divisions from before 2020
  • Meanwhile, the Bob Willis Trophy is being moved from the end of the season











The LV= Insurance County Championship will return to two divisions in 2022, after the 18 first-class clubs rejected the ECB’s proposal for a final year of conference cricket.

Two weeks ago, at a meeting in Lord’s, 11 of the district chairmen supported a repeat of the first-class three-group structure used during the pandemic, with five voting for the divisional system and two abstaining.

Crucially, the conference plan fell one vote short, as such changes require a two-thirds majority to be ratified, and the numbers fell again below the 12 needed in this week’s second vote.

Warwickshire triumphed to win the 2021 County Championship in the revised format

As a result, next summer’s 14-game competition will be split in a 10:8 ratio across the divisions, placing the teams as they would have been in 2020 had the Covid-19 restriction not led to a new one. adaptation of the modern Championship look.

It means Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire, the three teams promoted in 2019, join the top flight while Nottinghamshire falls in Division Two.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Bob Willis Trophy will be moved from its slot at the end of the season, and the top two teams are unlikely to play in the district championship, following concerns that this year’s game lacked context and meaning.

They have also taken home the Bob Willis trophy, which will be moved from the end of the season in 2022

They have also taken home the Bob Willis trophy, which will be moved from the end of the season in 2022

The newly crowned champion Warwickshire defeated Lancashire in second place by an innings and 199 runs at Lord’s in a match that ended on October 1, leaving the ECB to figure out how best to continue the match – and the charity it brings to the Bob Willis Fund – next summer.

Any decision will be made after discussions with the family of the former England fast bowler.

Opportunities include an early season match in Lord’s between the championship region and a team of test candidates, as well as a match between the best players from the north and south of the country.

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