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All You Need To Know on each format in 2022

LV= Insurance County Championship

When does the 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship season start?

The season begins on Thursday, April 7. The first seven rounds have all been scheduled from Thursday-Sunday in successive weeks in the build-up to the LV= Insurance Test Series against world champions New Zealand.

There will be a further five rounds in June and July – ensuring more four-day cricket in the height of summer – before the Division One and Two titles are set to be decided in September.

What is the competition format this summer?

We are returning to a two-division structure for the first time since 2019.

There will be 10 counties in Division One and eight in Division Two with a two-up, two-down promotion-and-relegation system.

Each county will play 14 LV= Insurance County Championship matches, with seven home matches and seven away matches.

Which counties will play in Division One and Division Two?

Division One: Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire

Division Two: Derbyshire, Durham, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Worcestershire.

Why were the fixtures delayed and have results in the men’s Ashes affected them?

The process to compile the fixture list is complex task that requires certainty across a number of areas.

A unique complication of this summer’s fixtures was that the ECB was only able to begin piecing the jig-saw of the fixtures together once the First-Class Counties agreed to return to a two-division structure.

The fixtures take months to construct – meaning the process started before the men’s Ashes started – and so it does not reflect the forthcoming discussion the entire game is set to have to re-set our men’s red-ball strategy.

The 2022 fixtures do, however, reflect some of the learnings and discussions that we continue to have with the game, highlighted by scheduling more rounds of LV= Insurance County Championship matches in June and July.

There will be five rounds during those months – an increase from three rounds last summer – to help preparations ahead of the LV= Insurance Test Series against South Africa and give fans more red-ball cricket on those long summer days.

The first seven rounds have all been scheduled from Thursday-Sunday in successive weeks to allow fans more opportunity to attend at weekends.

This block of matches will also build towards the LV= Insurance Test Series against world champions New Zealand. The men’s domestic red-ball season will also not stretch into October as it did last year.

Why are there 10 counties in Division One?

The First-Class Counties agreed to this change to the structure before the pandemic.

The 2018 Domestic Playing Programme review recommended the change, which was unanimously agreed by the First-Class Counties.

The pandemic has, however, meant that the 10:8 model has not been played since that agreement.

The first steps to transition to a 10:8 model were taken in 2019 – when three clubs were promoted (Lancashire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire) and one relegated (Nottinghamshire).

Last September, following two pandemic-affected seasons, the First-Class Counties agreed the time was right to begin the two-division 10:8 structure.

Given the past two seasons were played in a group-stage format, how were the divisions decided?

The three counties that were promoted at the end of the 2019 County Championship (Lancashire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire) will be given the opportunity they earned to play in Division One.

Nottinghamshire were the lone club relegated that season, and will play in Division Two.

How many ‘overseas’ players can each county play?

Each county can field a maximum of two ‘overseas’ players in an LV= Insurance County Championship match.

How can I watch and follow?

There has never been a better time and more opportunity to stay updated with your county and in 2022 every ball will be covered.

The BBC Local Radio stations will continue to provide their first-class coverage of every ball of every match of the LV= Insurance County Championship.

The ECB will again host live streams of every match on the ECB website and ECB app, to ensure the match is always as close as your mobile device, with daily highlights

Vitality Blast

When does the Vitality Blast start?

This year we will be celebrating the 20th edition of the world’s longest running professional domestic Twenty20 competition.

The opening night of the 2022 Vitality Blast is Wednesday 25 May when there will be a rematch of last year’s final between champions Kent Spitfires and Somerset.

The group stage will be played over a 40-day period with the final round-robin matches to be staged on Sunday, July 3.

The quarter-finals will be played from July 6-10 with Finals Day at Edgbaston on July 16.

How can I get tickets now?

Yes. Supporters can have a Blast this summer at every home group stage match by buying their season tickets now.

This year’s Vitality Blast will feature more fan-friendly timeslots with 99 of the 126 group-stage matches to be played on a Thursday night, Friday night or at the weekend.

Visit for links to every team’s season ticket pass and take advantage of multi-match savings.

How many ‘overseas’ players can each county play?

Each county can field a maximum of two ‘overseas’ players in a Vitality Blast match.

Already some big-name stars have been signed up including Rashid Khan (Sussex Sharks), Carlos Brathwaite (Birmingham Bears), Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan), Shaheen Afridi (Middlesex), Qais Ahmed (Kent Spitfires), Mohammad Rizwan (Sussex Sharks), Travis Head (Sussex Sharks) and Matthew Wade (Worcestershire Rapids) with many more to come.

What are the groups and format?

This hasn’t changed. The groups remain the same with the familiar North and South split, while each county will play 14 group-stage matches (seven at home and seven away).

North Group: Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Notts Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids, Yorkshire Vikings.

South Group: Essex Eagles, Gloucestershire, Hampshire Hawks, Kent Spitfires, Glamorgan, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex Sharks.

How do counties qualify for the knockout stages?

The quarter-finals will be seeded with the higher-seeded team set to host their quarter-final. So, as an example, the top team in the North Group will host the fourth-ranked team from the South Group in the quarter-finals.

The four winners of the quarter-finals will qualify for Finals Day at Edgbaston on July 16.

All knockout matches will have a reserve day should that be required.

How can I watch and follow?

Sky Sports is set broadcast 19 matches throughout the group stage, with each county set to feature at least twice before the four quarter-finals and Finals Day.

All Vitality Blast fixtures will be available via BBC Local Radio stations with extensive coverage also on 5 Live Sports Extra.

The ECB will again host live streams of every match on the ECB website and ECB app, to ensure you can always follow your team.

Will there be double headers with the Charlotte Edwards Cup?

Yes, there will be 10 double headers involving the men’s and women’s T20 competitions this summer including’

Northern Diamonds v Loughborough Lightning; Durham v Worcestershire Rapids – Riverside

Can I still get tickets to Finals Day?

Finals Day is officially sold out.

Tickets have, however, been set aside for the members and fans of the counties who qualify for Finals Day. Once the four teams have qualified those First-Class Counties who qualify will decide and communicate how those tickets will be available.

Some tickets will also be made available when the pitch allocation is confirmed.

Royal London Cup

When does the Royal London Cup start?

Champions Glamorgan begin their title defence away to Derbyshire when the Royal London Cup begins on August 2.

Ahead of the competition each First-Class County is set to play a National County on July 31.

The group stage will run until August 23 with t knockout matches to be played on August 26 and August 30.

When is the final?

Trent Bridge will host the Royal London Cup final which returns to a Saturday this year, on September 17.

There will be 18 days between the semi-finals and final to allow fans more time to secure their tickets and book hotels.

To get access to a priority window to buy tickets to the final before they go on general sale, you can register your interest at:

What are the groups and format?

The groups were randomly drawn with each county to play eight group-stages matches, four at home and four away.

The top three counties at the end of the group stage progress to the knockout stages.

The two first-placed counties progress directly to a home semi-final on August 30.

The second-placed teams will host the third-placed team in the opposite group in the playoffs on August 26, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals.

Group A: Durham, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire

Group B: Derbyshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire

Can I buy tickets to the matches?

Tickets for RL50 matches at the Riverside will be available to purchase in due course.