County Championship 2021 preview, groups and upcoming fixtures

Our County Championship 2021 preview features the defending champions Essex CCC.
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LV= Insurance 4-day First Class Cricket preview

With new sponsors, LV Insurance, England’s County Championship returned on Thursday, 8 April but most of the games were either drawn or called off. Supposedly just for this year, due to COVID-19, England’s premier first-class competition has a new format. In this article we will form a County Championship 2021 preview, starting from round two of the competition.

The 18 County teams have been divided into three groups of six, groups A, B, and C. Each team will play ten matches. They will face every team in their group twice, a match at home and a match away.

Teams will be awarded 16 points for a win, and 8 points for a draw. Additional performance points can be earned for batting and bowling feats during the first 110 overs of a team’s first innings.

The first stage of the competition will end with the top two teams from each group advancing to form Division One. The remaining teams from groups A, B, and C will form Divisions Two and Three.

Teams in Division One will then play a further round of matches. The team sitting at the top of Division One after this final round of matches will be named County Champions.

Furthermore, the five-day Bob Willis Trophy match will be contested between the newly crowned County Champions and the team that finished as Division One runners-up.  The Bob Willis Trophy final is scheduled to start at Lord’s on Tuesday, 27 September.

The groups

Group A: Derbyshire. Durham. Essex. Nottinghamshire. Warwickshire. Worcestershire.

Group B: Gloucestershire. Hampshire. Leicestershire. Middlesex. Somerset. Surrey.

Group C: Glamorgan. Kent. Lancashire. Northamptonshire. Sussex. Yorkshire.

County Championship 2021 preview: Group A

CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND – JUNE 29: Simon Harmer of Essex celebrates taking the final wicket during the Essex v Middlesex – Specsavers County Championship: Division One cricket match at the Cloudfm County Ground on June 29, 2017 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Nick Wood/Getty Images)

Derbyshire vs. Worcestershire – The Incora County Ground, Derby

First round: Snow meant that Derbyshire drew their first game as did Worcestershire at Chelmsford. Derbyshire CCC struggled initially, due to Hannon-Dolby’s five-wicket haul.

Derbyshire: Billy Godleman (C) / Luis Reece / Anuj Dal / Leus du Plooy / Wayne Madsen / Matt Critchley /  Harvey Hosein / Brooke Guest / Fynn Hudson-Prentice / Michael Cohen / Ben Aitchison / Sam Conners / George Scrimshaw

Worcestershire: Joe Leach(C) / Daryl Mitchell / Jake Libby / Tom Fell / Gareth Roderick / Jack Haynes / Brett D’Oliveira / Riki Wessels / Ben Cox / Ed Barnard /  Dillon Pennington / Charlie Morris / Adam Finch


Warwickshire vs. Nottinghamshire – Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire

First round: Weather interrupted Warwickshire’s charge in their game and Nottinghamshire battled bravely throughout the final day to secure a draw.

Warwickshire: Will Rhodes(C) / Tim Bresnan / Danny Briggs / Henry Brookes / Michael Burgess / Olly Hannon-Dalby / Sam Hain / Matt Lamb / Craig Miles / Dan Mousley / Liam Norwell / Dom Sibley / Rob Yates.

Nottinghamshire: Steven Mullaney(C)  /  Jake Bell  /  Joe Clarke  /  Ben Compton  /  Ben Duckett  /  Luke Fletcher  /  Haseeb Hameed  /  Brett Hutton  /  Lyndon James  /  Tom Moores  /  Dane Peterson  /  Liam Patterson-White  /  Ben Slater  /  Peter Trego


Durham vs. Essex – The County Ground, Chelmsford 

First round: Durham picked up 5 wickets on the last day but were held to a draw by Nottinghamshire in their previous game. Essex also drew their first game but Tom Westley scored a superb 213.

Durham: Scott Borthwick(C) / Chris Rushworth / Brydon Carse / David Bedingham / Stuart Poynter / Alex Lees / Ned Eckersley / Ben Raine / Jack Burnham / Alex Thomson / Paul Coughlin / Mike Jones / Matt Salisbury

Essex: Tom Westley / Nick Browne / Ben Allison / Sir Alastair Cook / Sam Cook / Simon Harmer / Feroz Khushi / Dan Lawrence / Jamie Porter / Matt Quinn / Shane Snater / Ryan ten Doeschate / Paul Walter / Adam Wheater


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County Championship 2021 preview: Group B

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 02: Rory Burns of Surrey bats during day one of the Pre-season Friendly between Surrey and Middlesex at The Kia Oval on April 02, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)


Middlesex vs. Hampshire – Ageas Bowl, Southampton 

First round:  Middlesex lost to Somerset in a tight encounter by 4 wickets and Hampshire eased past Leicestershire. 

Middlesex:  Stephen Eskinazi (C) / Martin Andersson / Ethan Bamber / Blake Cullen / Jack Davies / Steven Finn / Nick Gubbins / Tom Helm / Max Holden / Tim Murtagh / Sam Robson / Toby Roland-Jones / John Simpson / Robbie White

Hampshire: James Vince(C) / Lewis McManus / Kyle Abbott / Mohammad Abbas / Tom Alsop / Joe Weatherley / Mason Crane / Brad Wheal / Scott Currie / Sam Northeast / Liam Dawson / Felix Organ / Ian Holland


Leicestershire vs. Surrey – The Kia Oval, London

First round: Surrey lost to Gloucestershire by 8 wickets and Leicestershire were hammered by Hampshire.

Leicestershire: Colin Ackermann (C) / Hassan Azad / Harry Dearden / Alex Evans / Sam Evans / Gavin Griffiths / Lewis Hill / Dieter Klein / Ben Mike / Callum Parkinson / Rishi Patel / Harry Swindells / Chris Wright

Surrey: Rory Burns (C)/Hashim Amla/Gus Atkinson/Jordan Clark/Matthew Dunn/Ben Foakes/Will Jacks/Daniel Moriarty/Jamie Overton/Ollie Pope/Jamie Smith/Mark Stoneman/Reece Topley/Amar Virdi


Gloucestershire vs. Somerset – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton

First round: A terrific afternoon of batting helped Gloucestershire triumph against Surrey and Somerset scored 285/6 , in their second innings, to beat Middlesex by 4 wickets.

Gloucestershire: Chris Dent(C) /  James Bracey /  David Payne /  Jack Taylor /  Josh Shaw /  Graeme van Buuren /  Ryan Higgins /  George Hankins /  Jack Taylor /  Tom Lace /  George Scott /  Tom Smith /  Miles Hammond / Kraigg Brathwaite

Somerset: Lewis Gregory(C) /  Tom Abell / George Bartlett / Tom Banton / Eddie Byrom / Josh Davey /  Steve Davies / Marchant de Lange / James Hildreth / Tom Lammonby / Jack Leach / Craig Overton / Roelof van der Merwe


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County Championship 2021 preview: Group C

LEEDS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 24: Adam Lyth of Yorkshire celebrates as he scores one hundred runs during the Bob Willis Trophy match between Yorkshire and Lancashire at Emerald Headingley Stadium on August 24, 2020 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)


Yorkshire vs. Kent – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

First round:  Adam Lyth‘s century guided Yorkshire to safety, meanwhile snow also meant that Kent’s game ended in a draw.

Yorkshire: Steve Patterson(C) / Dom Bess / Harry Brook / Ben Coad / Matthew Fisher / Tom Loten / Adam Lyth / Duanne Olivier / Joe Root / Jonny Tattersall / Tom Kohler-Cadmore / David Willey

Kent: Daniel Bell-Drummond(C) / Jordan Cox / Zak Crawley / Miguel Cummins, / Joe Denly / Fred Klaasen /  Jack Leaning / Matt Milnes / Marcus O’Riordan / Harry Podmore / Ollie Robinson / Darren Stevens / Grant Stewart


Lancashire vs. Northamptonshire – Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester

First round: Snow had the final say on day four in Lancashire’s game and it also affected Northamptonshire’s fixture.

Lancashire: Dane Vilas(C) / Tom Bailey / Josh Bohannon / Steven Croft / Alex Davies / Tom Hartley / Liam Hurt / Keaton Jennings / Rob Jones / Danny Lamb / George Lavelle / Saqib Mahmood / Matt Parkinson / Luke Wood

Northamptonshire: Adam Rossington(C) / Gareth Berg / Nathan Buck / Ben Curran / Emilio Gay / Rob Keogh / Simon Kerrigan / Ben Sanderson / Tom Taylor / Charlie Thurston / Ricardo Vasconcelos / Alex Wakely / Jack White


Glamorgan vs Sussex – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

First round: In their previous games, Glamorgan drew to Yorkshire and Sussex saw their game called off.

Glamorgan: Chris Cooke(C) / Andy Balbirnie / Kiran Carlson / Tom Cullen / Dan Douthwaite / Michael Hogan / David Lloyd /  Jamie McIlroy / Billy Root / Nick Selman / Callum Taylor / Timm van der Gugten / James Weighell

Sussex: Ben Brown (C) /  Ollie Robinson / Jack Carson / Tom Clark / Henry Crocombe / George Garton / Tom Haines / Sean Hunt / Stuart Meaker / Delray Rawlins / Aaron Thomason / Stiaan van Zyl

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