County cricket poised for radical overhaul with 2021 country crown set to be decided by five-day Lord’s final
- County Championship set to be played in three conferences of six next year
- And the competition would culminate in a five-day final at Lord’s
- Plan to ensure long-term viability of all 18 counties amid the pandemic
English domestic cricket will see a five-day Lord’s final to crown its champion team once again next year under proposals being put forward for 2021.
With the effects of the coronavirus potentially impacting upon next summer, the professional game group have devised a conference system for a return to a full County Championship in which the 18 first-class teams would be split into three groups of six, as they have for the one-off Bob Willis Trophy.
However, it will not be determined geographically — as has been the case this summer, in a bid to reduce travel — but by a seeding system based on the finishing positions of the 2019 Championship.
English domestic cricket will see a five-day Lord’s final to crown its champion team again
Each county would play 10 round-robin matches between April and July, before the season turned its attention to shorter-format cricket, and complete its four-day programme in three divisions over the final six weeks.
Division One would be comprised of the first and second-placed teams from each conference, Division Two would feature the third and fourth while fifth and sixth would find their way into a third tier.
Each then play a further four first-class matches, with the top two in the top flight meeting for the title pennant.