County Championship: Fixtures for division stage released with Warwickshire starting top of Division One

The fixtures for the division stage of the LV= Insurance County Championship have been released, with Division One leaders Warwickshire visiting Lancashire in the opening round from August 30.

Warwickshire – who lead the top division having carried over 21 points from the group phase – and Lancashire are joined in Division One by Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and Yorkshire.

The Division One teams will play four matches, with the side in first place after those fixtures crowned county champions for the 2021 season.

They will then play the team that finishes second in the five-day Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s from September 28 to October 2.

Division One (as it stands)

Sides will not play teams they have already faced in the group stage, which means Yorkshire will not play Lancashire, Warwickshire will not meet Notts, and Hampshire will not battle Somerset.

However, they have carried over half the points they accrued from matches against the other team in their group to qualify for Division One, with Warwickshire’s two wins over Nottinghamshire netting them 42 points in total, hence why they have carried over 21 points.

Yorkshire will begin at the foot of the table having carried over just 4.5 points from the group stage after losing to Lancashire by an innings and 79 runs at Emirates Old Trafford and then seeing the teams’ clash at Headingley abandoned due to an unsafe pitch.

The opening round of the division stage also sees Somerset – chasing their first-ever County Championship title – host Nottinghamshire, and Hampshire entertain Yorkshire.

The final round, from September 21 to 24, sees current top two Warwickshire and Somerset clash at Edgbaston, Lancashire play Hampshire in Liverpool, and Nottinghamshire welcome Yorkshire to Trent Bridge.

Essex are the reigning County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy winners but will not be able to retain their titles after failing to make it into Division One.

Division Two (as it stands)

The Chelmsford side’s hopes of qualifying were dashed when their final group game at Derbyshire was abandoned after a member of Derbyshire’s playing staff tested positive for Covid-19 and the rest of the squad entered isolation.

Essex will start top of Division Two, a league in which they will be joined by Northamptonshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Glamorgan and Durham.

Division Three is made up of Worcestershire, Middlesex, Sussex Leicestershire, Kent and Derbyshire.

Division Three (as it stands)

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP – DIVISION STAGE FIXTURES

From August 30:

Division One – Lancashire vs Warwickshire, Somerset vs Nottinghamshire, Hampshire vs Yorkshire
Division Two – Durham vs Surrey, Glamorgan vs Essex, Gloucestershire vs Northants
Division Three – Leicestershire vs Kent, Middlesex vs Derbyshire, Worcestershire vs Sussex

From September 5:

Division One – Warwickshire vs Hampshire, Yorkshire vs Somerset, Nottinghamshire vs Lancashire
Division Two – Durham vs Glamorgan, Essex vs Gloucestershire, Northants vs Surrey
Division Three – Sussex vs Middlesex (from Sep 6), Kent vs Worcestershire, Derbyshire vs Leicestershire

From September 12:

Division One – Hampshire vs Nottinghamshire, Somerset vs Lancashire, Yorkshire vs Warwickshire
Division Two – Glamorgan vs Gloucestershire, Northants vs Durham, Surrey vs Essex
Division Three – Derbyshire vs Kent, Leicestershire vs Sussex, Middlesex vs Worcestershire

From September 21:

Division One – Lancashire vs Hampshire, Nottinghamshire vs Yorkshire, Warwickshire vs Somerset
Division Two – Essex vs Northants, Gloucestershire vs Durham, Surrey vs Glamorgan
Division Three – Kent vs Middlesex, Sussex vs Derbyshire, Worcestershire vs Leicestershire

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