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  1. #1
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    The County Season 2021 Thread

    The County season starts tomorrow in England.

    Packed calendar, with 4 Day, 1-Day, The Hundred and the T20 Blast all to play for.



  2. #2
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    The 18 first-class counties will be split into three groups of six, a change from the eight-side Division One and 10-team Division Two in place when the County Championship was last played in 2019.

    Each county will then play 10 four-day games in the group stage - five home and five away - with the final round in mid-July.

    The competition takes a break for The Hundred and One-Day Cup until 30 August, when the top two teams in each group will go through to a second group stage called Division One, carrying over the points from the matches played against each other.

    Division One's six teams play a further four matches against those they have not already met, with the side that finishes top of Division One crowned 2021 County Championship winners.

    The top two teams in Division One will contest the five-day Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord's, starting on 27 September.

    The remaining 12 teams that do not go into Division One will move into Divisions Two and Three, in which teams will play another four matches.

    County Championship groups
    Group 1: Essex, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Durham.

    Group 2: Somerset, Hampshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Middlesex, Leicestershire.

    Group 3: Kent, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan, Sussex.

    England players on show
    With England not returning to Test match action until 2 June, the back-to-back nature of the first nine rounds of the County Championship will work in several players' favour.

    A number of names will be plying their trade in the Indian Premier League, but the red-ball specialists will have their chance to reacclimatise after a winter touring the sub-continent.

    England captain Joe Root is expected to line up for the first time in a first-class fixture against his younger brother Billy as Yorkshire take on Glamorgan.

    Root will definitely play in Yorkshire's opening two fixtures, according to coach Andrew Gale, and is also expected to feature in a few more before the first Test against New Zealand.

    While the England and Wales Cricket Board has yet to confirm the full availability of those on central contracts, also back in the county ranks will be openers Zak Crawley at Kent and Dom Sibley at Warwickshire.

    Rory Burns will also be keen to make an impression, not just as Surrey captain but also to put himself back in the frame after he was dropped during the series in India. Ollie Pope will also be itching for some valuable time at the crease.

    Dan Lawrence, not currently on a central contract, has a chance to build on the promise he showed in both Sri Lanka and India, as he returns to Essex's middle order.

    James Anderson and Stuart Broad will no doubt both feature for Lancashire and Nottinghamshire respectively in the early rounds, but expect their workloads to be closely monitored.

    There's also the chance for spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess to settle back into county action after contrasting winters. Leach will return for another summer with Somerset, while Bess has made a permanent move north to try to secure more game time with Yorkshire.

    Counties can now field two overseas players in the County Championship instead of one, following the ending of Kolpak registrations after the UK's exit from the European Union.

    So who are the international stars to look out for in 2021?

    Cameron Bancroft (Durham)

    The Australia opener returns for a second spell in the north east following a successful stint in 2019.

    Bancroft, 28, scored 726 runs at an average of 45.37 in nine County Championship games two years ago.

    He will link up with Durham, under new captain Scott Borthwick, when his commitments with Western Australia end next month.

    Kraigg Brathwaite (Gloucestershire)

    The West Indies Test captain arrives in Bristol in fine form having scored 126 and 85 against Sri Lanka last week.

    The 28-year-old has plenty of experience in England, having previously had spells at Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan.

    Brathwaite is available for the first eight rounds, but self-isolation protocols on his return from the West Indies mean he is unlikely to be available for Gloucestershire's opening game against Surrey.

    Marcus Harris (Leicestershire)

    Having moved above Bancroft in the pecking order for one of Australia's opening spots, Harris comes to Leicestershire with high expectations.

    It's a first spell in county cricket for the left-hander who has played 10 Test matches for his country - the most recent coming against India in January.

    Harris, 28, will link up with the Foxes once Victoria's involvement in the Sheffield Shield finishes.

    Hashim Amla (Surrey)

    The former South Africa batsman, who was signed by Surrey on a two-year Kolpak deal for 2020 and 2021, will now slot into the top order as an overseas player.

    Amla's stats are up there with the finest the game has seen - 55 centuries in Test and ODI cricket, over 17,000 runs in both formats and a top Test score of 311 not out.

    Surrey will hope to see more of Amla than last year in the first-class game, when Covid-19 travel restrictions meant he was limited to just one Bob Willis Trophy appearance.

    Alzarri Joseph (Worcestershire)

    The Antiguan paceman is set to play six County Championship games for the Pears starting in round two after a stint of self-isolation.

    Worcestershire will need the 24-year-old to hit the ground running as they visit the domestic kings of the past few seasons, Essex, in round one.

    Joseph has taken 38 wickets in 16 Tests for West Indies, is a useful lower-order batsman, and made Indian Premier League history in 2019 when he took 6-12 on his Mumbai Indians debut - the best bowling figures in the competition's 14-year history.



  3. #3
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    Opening fixtures - Thursday, 8 April

    Group 1

    Essex v Worcestershire

    Nottinghamshire v Durham

    Warwickshire v Derbyshire


    Group 2

    Gloucestershire v Surrey

    Leicestershire v Hampshire

    Middlesex v Somerset


    Group 3

    Northamptonshire v Kent

    Sussex v Lancashire

    Yorkshire v Glamorgan



  4. #4
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    Any Pakistan player in talks with counties @saj? Would love Abdullah Shafiq or Saud Shakeel to get a county gig

  5. #5
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    Unbelievable that ECB starts the County Championship in April.

    Time for medium paced dibbly dobblers to fill their boots, spinners reduced to spectators and batsmen not learning how to play a long innings.

  6. #6
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    Unbelievable that ECB starts the County Championship in April.
    It was snowing yesterday



  7. #7
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    I would love to see a Pakistani batsman play in the county championship this year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by guldozer View Post
    I would love to see a Pakistani batsman play in the county championship this year.
    Nothing in the pipeline for the County Championship as yet.

    Haider Ali maybe in the T20 Blast.
    Last edited by Saj; 8th April 2021 at 02:47.



  9. #9
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    A reminder that Mohammad Abbas will be playing for Hampshire as an overseas signing for the first two months of the 2021 County Championship season.



  10. #10
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    This morning’s moment of unity – as per release we’ve sent out last night - will occur at 10.55am across the venues hosting LV= Insurance County Championship matches.

    This follows consultation with the PCA, player representatives from the women’s and men’s game and First-Class Counties. The players and counties will mark the moment as they deem appropriate.

    Additionally, the umpires will be wearing black armbands during the opening round of matches to remember former Kent batsman and much-loved match referee Graham Cowdrey, who died in November last year. Social distancing protocols meant they were unable to attend Graham’s funeral and they have wanted to show their respect for him.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  11. #11
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    I see quetta born Hassan Azad is playing for Leicestershire. He has a good 1st class record aswell.

    He also played for Pakistan u15 before his family moved to England.
    Last edited by guldozer; 8th April 2021 at 19:14.

  12. #12
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    Sports support Covid certification (testing and vaccination) review as a credible option to enable full venues from 21 June onwards

    We welcome the Government’s commitment to securing a return of spectators to sporting events and the support all political parties and the devolved administrations have shown to returning sport at all levels throughout the pandemic.

    This week’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government’s roadmap for easing the lockdown restrictions remains on course is very welcome news.

    Sporting events can continue to plan for the return of small numbers of spectators from 17 May. At this stage of the process all spectators will need to follow social distancing requirements and attendance will be capped at a maximum of 25% of larger venue’s capacity. However this will still be insufficient to end sport’s Covid financial crisis.

    Looking ahead to June 21, we support the Government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible. Of necessity, this will depend upon the Government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.

    How this can be achieved is being examined by the Events Research Programme (ERP) which is looking at a range of options, including the extent to which social distancing can be relaxed. This work is supported by all of the major sporting bodies.

    All of our sports are committed to working closely with the ERP to explore all of the options that will allow us to swiftly return to full capacities. We also understand that further guidance will be issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority.

    It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards.

    The return of fans will give a huge boost to millions who enjoy a day out at a sporting event with their friends and families and be of great benefit to the economy. It is right that every possible action is considered to secure this outcome as soon as possible, but only for as long as an unrestricted return is considered unsafe to fans, matchday staff and the wider public.

    This includes investigating how a Covid certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing.

    There are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers.

    All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible. We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.

    This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an anti-body test alongside vaccination certification.

    The final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.

    We also reiterate that certification should not be a requirement for any form of participation in grassroots sport around the country.

    Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of covid certification for major events. Any final decision on their application should follow an assessment of the evidence gathered in the forthcoming ERP trials.

    We look forward to working with Government and all interested parties, including our stakeholders and fans, to deliver the great sporting summer the whole nation craves.

    The AELTC, Wimbledon

    English Football League (EFL)

    England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)

    Football Association (The FA)

    Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)

    Premier League (PL)

    Rugby Football League (RFL)

    Rugby Football Union (RFU)

    Scottish Professional Football League

    Silverstone Circuit


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  13. #13
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    Surprisingly we got play in all 9 matches in the County Championship today, I'd have thought the probability of calling off one or two matches would have been high in early April.

    Scores at stumps for all the CC matches today as follows.

    Group 1:

    Essex 207/3 (Westley 84*) vs Worcestershire at Chelmsford

    Durham 241/7 (Lees 58, Ball 2/39) vs Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge

    Derbyshire 189 (Critchley 64, Norwell 5/32) vs Warwickshire 13/1 at Edgbaston

    Group 2:

    Middlesex 293/8 (Robson 165, Gregory 4/54) vs Somerset at Lord's

    Hampshire 431/4 (Vince 168*, Wright 2/79) vs Leicestershire at Leicester

    Surrey 220/9 (Amla 56, Shaw 4/48) vs Gloucestershire at Bristol

    Group 3:

    Glamorgan 310/8 (van der Gugton 80*, Coad 3/79) vs Yorkshire at Headingley

    Sussex 291/9 (Haines 155, Bailey 3/41) vs Lancashire at Old Trafford

    Kent 309/7 (Robinson 84, Buck 3/57) vs Northamptonshire at Northampton

  14. #14
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    The pitches for early April have been remarkably good. The one at Old Trafford for the match against Sussex should even help the spinners.

  15. #15
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    Are these games being played behind closed doors? one of my favourite past times is cycling down to the out grounds in Uxbridge and watching Middlesex play most of the time free of charge. Roll on the summer!

  16. #16
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    Good day for Lancs so far, Dane Vilas's love affair with the County Championship continues with another accomplished century. Still can't get my head around a batting day at Manchester in April.

    Lancs 257/5 - trail Sussex by 44

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Scores at stumps on Day 3 as follows.

    Group 1:

    Essex 490/9 dec (Westley 213, Barnard 3/67) vs Worcestershire 350/6 (Libby 141*, Cook 4/77) at Chelmsford - Worcs trail by 140 runs

    Durham 330 (Raine 59*, Fletcher 3/83) & 332/4 (Bedingham 180*, Hutton 2/33) vs Nottinghamshire 267 (Moores 96*, Salisbury 4/74) at Trent Bridge - Durham lead by 395 runs

    Derbyshire 189 (Critchley 64, Norwell 5/32) & 71/5 (Critchley 23*, Hannon-Dalby 5/29) vs Warwickshire 221 (Lamb 54, Critchley 2/22) at Edgbaston - Derbyshire lead by 39 runs

    Group 2:

    Middlesex 313 (Robson 165, Gregory 5/68) & 143 (Eskinazi 53, Davey 3/16) vs Somerset 172 (de Lange 51, Murtagh 4/46) & 112/3 (Abell 62*, Roland-Jones 2/31) at Lord's - Somerset need 173 runs to win

    Hampshire 612/5 dec (Vince 231, Wright 2/111) vs Leicestershire 202 (Swindells 59, Abbott 3/27) & 279/8 f/o (Hill 65, Crane 3/101) at Leicester - Leicestershire trail by 131 runs

    Surrey 220 (Amla 56, Shaw 4/48) & 232/5 (Foakes 81*, Taylor 2/64) vs Gloucestershire 326 (Dent 78, Topley 5/66) at Bristol - Surrey lead by 126 runs

    Group 3:

    Kent 455 (Stevens 116*, Buck 3/84) vs Northamptonshire 301/5 (Vasconcelos 154, Stevens 2/59) at Northampton - Northants trail by 154 runs

    Glamorgan 330 (van der Gugton 85*, Coad 4/94) & 161/4 (Billy Root 77*, Coad 3/18) vs Yorkshire 193 (Lyth 52, Taylor 2/16) at Headingley - Glamorgan lead by 298 runs

    Sussex 301 (Haines 155, Bailey 4/48) & 38/0 (Thomason 23*) vs Lancashire 407 (Vilas 189, Hunt 3/47) at Old Trafford - Sussex trail by 68 runs

  19. #19
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    Leicestershire have expressed their “very strong views” to match referee Stuart Cummings after Hassan Azad was erroneously given out stumped in their County Championship clash against Hampshire.

    Hampshire were well on top in the game when the incident occurred, having racked up a mammoth first-innings total and bowled Leicestershire out for 202 to allow themselves to enforce the follow-on. However, the hosts applied themselves more effectively in the second innings, with Azad grafting his way to 18 off 77 balls.

    His knock was ended after he was given out stumped by Lewis McManus off the bowling of Liam Dawson. However, closer inspection of the moment in question showed that Leicestershire had significant reason to feel aggrieved, with McManus taking the ball in his right hand before removing the bails with his left.



  20. #20
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    Hampshire the only side to have secured an early win thus far.

    Somerset are a hit or two away from winning their match at Lord's against Middlesex.

    The Gloucestershire - Surrey match also appears interesting with Gloucs chasing 228 to win.

    The other matches look to be heading for draws at this stage.


  21. #21
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    Gloucestershire 149/2 in pursuit of 228. It could be a very good win against Surrey at the start of the season.

  22. #22
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    As a mark of respect, all nine LV= County Championship matches will pause between 2:50-4:10 on Saturday 17 April, to coincide with the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

    We are also asking all recreational cricket clubs across England and Wales to pause play between 3pm and 4pm next Saturday in order to pay their respects alongside observing the one minute silence at 3pm.



  23. #23
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    Rain delay in Bristol with Gloucestershire needing another 43 runs to win. They'll be getting a bit nervous in the home dressing room.


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