County news November 26, 2012

Championship returns to late September in 2013

ESPNcricinfo staff

County cricket will return to the latter half of September in 2013, with the fixture list confirming that the window in the ICC's Future Tours Programme reserved for the T20 Champions League will not be kept free. The final round of the Championship will begin on September 24, 2013, meaning that the season will not be subject to the record early starts of recent years.

For the last three seasons, cricket in England has ceased in mid-September, to accommodate the Champions League. However, the counties recently agreed not to participate in the 2013 competition, in order to protect the domestic calendar.

The opening round of Championship matches will commence on April 10, five days later than in 2012, when the traditional pre-season university fixtures were forced to begin in March. The final of the Clydesdale Bank 40 will be held at Lord's on Saturday September 21, meaning that the domestic season will start and finish with first-class cricket.

The Friends Life t20 group stage, in its final year as a block, has been moved back due to the staging of the Champions Trophy in England and is scheduled to run for six weeks from June 26. The tournament retains the same format as last season, with three groups and ten games per county; Finals Day will be held at Edgbaston on Saturday August 17.

Warwickshire, winners of the 2012 Championship, will play the Champion County match against MCC in Abu Dhabi at the end of March before beginning their defence against newly promoted Derbyshire. Yorkshire, runners-up behind Derbyshire in Division Two, will mark their return to the top tier by hosting Sussex at Headingley. The two relegated clubs, Lancashire and Worcestershire, are to face off at Old Trafford in the opening round of Division Two.

Hampshire, holders of both limited-overs trophies, will play the first CB40 fixture of the season in a floodlit match at Essex on May 3, with Scotland, Netherlands and the Unicorns again joining the 18 counties in three groups. The competition is due to revert to a 50-over format from 2014, after the ECB and the counties agreed a compromise that would retain the current Championship structure.

As well as the Champions Trophy, which runs from June 6 until June 23, New Zealand will tour England in the first part of the summer, followed by the Ashes, with the first Test against Australia starting at Trent Bridge on July 10. Derbyshire, Kent, Somerset, Worcestershire, Sussex and Northamptonshire are all scheduled to host tour matches, while England will play an Ashes warm-up fixture at Essex.

  • Full 2013 county fixture list

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • Chris on November 27, 2012, 10:59 GMT

      Whilst I fully support a later start and finish to the cricket season, I hope that counties consider potential light issues and plan their use of wickets so that any tall buildings nearby don't cast a shadow over the playing wicket in the evening sun.

      Having been to a county championship game at Taunton where the whole game was played in bright sunshine and the umpires took the players off before the end of the last sessions because of a building casting a shadow over the wicket, and having been to a CB40 game at Old Trafford (not a day/night game) where the game continued with one wicket being in sunshine and the other in shade, does anybody know whether there is a definitive ruling on what the umpires should do if one of the wickets is under shadow?

    • stuart on November 26, 2012, 20:36 GMT

      good stuff. Although some of the pitches of early spring have been good due to good weather it makes more sense to play later in summer as the weather always seems to be better in September.

      As for the Champions league let them play among themselves.The less money we put in BCCI coffers the better. We need the test ranking back and that comes through first class cricket. Not some daft whack about. I like 20-20 but it is a bit like crystal meth. Frenetic,over too quickly and ultimately about self flagellation.

    • david on November 26, 2012, 19:19 GMT

      a much better idea. we could lose time playing late sept, but the wickets should be much harder then. to early and you lose time to rain and the wickets are like a pudding.

    • Dummy4 on November 26, 2012, 18:30 GMT

      Very good win for England in Mumbai over India and monty panesar and KP made the differentce and captaiam Cook is becoming run machine and well done England

    • Michael on November 26, 2012, 18:13 GMT

      I am extremely grateful for the timely intervention of common sense. What happened?

    • Dummy4 on November 26, 2012, 16:59 GMT

      just remove these champaions league and IPL..they r spoiling Indian cricket..atleast do not allow international players to play these formats

    • No featured comments at the moment.