County Championship to return to two-division structure from 2022, confirms ECB;
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the 2022 fixtures. For men’s county and women’s regional domestic competitions.
The men’s domestic summer will begin on 7 April with the opening round of the County Championship. However, the Vitality Blast, this year marking the 20th edition of the T20 competition. It will run over a seven-week period (25 May – 16 July) before the Royal London Cup (2 August – 17 September).
The 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup will open the women’s regional summer from 14 May. And will offer the first piece of domestic silverware. With Finals Day at The County Ground, Northampton on 11 June.
The 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy starts on 2 July. Apart will conclude with a showpiece final at Lord’s on Sunday, 25 September.
The County Championship returns to a two-division structure. For the first time since 2019 – with defending champions Warwickshire to host Surrey in the opening round.
The opening seven rounds of the County Championship. It will be played from Thursday to Sunday on successive weeks. However, there will be five rounds played during June and July. An increase from the three rounds during the same period last summer.
The Division One and Division Two titles are set to be decided in September. Moreover, with the final round of fixtures to be staged from 26-29 September.
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
Lord’s is set to stage the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy on Sunday 25 September. To close what promises to be a memorable summer of women’s cricket.
Heyhoe Flint was a pioneer of the game. Leading England to the first-ever Women’s World Cup title in 1973. And challenging convention and fighting for progress as a player, administrator and campaigner throughout her life.
MCC announced last year that the North Gate at Lord’s would be named in Heyhoe Flint’s honour. And the final bearing her name will conclude a bumper summer for women’s cricket. In conclusion that will also include the Charlotte Edwards Cup, Commonwealth Games, The Hundred in addition to the England Women’s schedule.
Southern Vipers will bid to claim a hat-trick of Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy titles. When the 50-over competition begins on 2 July. However, the play-off is to be played four days before the Lord’s final.
Royal London Cup
The Royal London Cup final will return to a Saturday. With Trent Bridge to host the decider on 17 September. The 18 First-Class Counties will each play one warm-up match against a National County. With Somerset and Middlesex to play two games – ahead of the competition, which begins on 2 August.
Defending champions Glamorgan are away to Derbyshire on the opening day. And the group stage will conclude on 23 August. The competition will visit at least nine outgrounds, from Scarborough to Neath. Moreover, before the knockout stages will be held on 26 August and 30 August.
Charlotte Edwards Cup
South East Stars won the first-ever Charlotte Edwards Cup title last summer. And open their defence away to Sunrisers at the Cloud County Ground in Chelmsford on Saturday 14 May.
The month-long Twenty20 competition will see the eight women’s regional teams split into two groups. And play six group-stage matches, before Finals Day on Saturday, 11 June.
Moreover, there will be 10 double-headers when Charlotte Edwards Cup. And Vitality Blast T20 matches are played back-to-back at the same venue.
The 20th edition of domestic T20 cricket will begin on 25 May with champions Kent Spitfires to host Somerset in a re-match of last season’s final. However, the Vitality Blast group stage will take place over a 40-day period with 99 of the 126 matches to be played on a Thursday, Friday and at the weekend.
As a result, the quarter-finals will be staged from 6-9 July before the sold-out Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston a week later.