London [UK]Nov. 30 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday announced the schedule for the 2023 national season for both men’s and women’s cricket.
The Men’s County Championship kicks off the national season on April 6 with 14 matches per county.
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixture list has doubled in size, with twice as many 50-over games per season, while there will also be 20 double-headers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and T20 Blast.
T20 Blast kicks off with T20 Blast Off – featuring a double-header of two T20 Blast matches – in Edgbaston on May 20 with a sold-out finals day at the same venue on July 15. The One-Day Cup runs from August 1 to September 16.
As previously agreed, the format of the 2023 County Championship will be unchanged from 2022. In Division One and Division Two, each county will play 14 home and away games, with two teams relegated and two teams promoted.
The County Championship will resume on April 6, with the first round of matches over the Easter weekend. All 18 First Class Counties will be in action in the opening round.
Surrey began their title defense at Emirates Old Trafford – the venue where they lifted the trophy last season.
The first seven rounds are played from Thursday to Sunday in consecutive weeks. Each province has one week off for rest and recuperation during the first five rounds of the season.
A round is played the week before the 1st Men’s Ashes Test, which starts on June 16. Five rounds will be played in June and July, the last round starting on September 26.
T20 Blast will remain the same format as 2022: each province will play 14 matches in the group stage, with the top four from each group advancing to the quarter-finals.
The match kicks off in spectacular style with Edgbaston hosting the T20 Blast Off on Saturday 20th May.
T20 Blast Off gives fans the first chance to see a double-header featuring Birmingham Bears against Yorkshire Vikings and Derbyshire Falcons against Lancashire Lightning, last season’s finalists.
Final day – once again sold out – remains one of the most notable days in the domestic cricket calendar, being played on 15 July this year, and would not clash with England’s men’s whiteball fixtures.
Defending champion Hampshire Hawks begin their title defense on May 24 in Somerset.
Friday night is T20 Blast night with 48 games taking place on six consecutive Friday nights.
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixture list has doubled in size, with one group of eight regional teams now playing home and away games, making 14 group matches per team.
The competition kicks off on April 22 with the second and third rounds to be played over the following Bank Holiday weekend.
Defending champions Northern Diamonds start at home against Western Storm at Headingley. The Blaze – the new home of East Midlands women’s regional cricket – will begin their new era on 22 April.
The final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy will be played on September 24 at The County Ground, Northampton.
Charlotte Edwards Cup
There will be 21 double-headers in Charlotte Edwards Cup and T20 Blast games from May 25 to June 7. Eighteen venues will host double-headers, including Blackpool.
There is one more match for each team this season, with the eight teams forming one group and playing home or away, making seven group matches per team.
The game kicks off under lights at the Cloud County Ground on May 18, with Sunrisers v Central Sparks. The final will take place on June 10 at New Road.
The group stage of the One-Day Cup will be played alongside The Hundred and will start on August 1. Defending champion Kent leaves for Yorkshire in Scarborough.
All 18 First Class Counties will play in warm-up matches against a National County on July 30. Sussex and Somerset each play another game on August 1.
Outgrounds have become a feature of the One-Day Cup and will continue to be so – eight outgrounds to date have been set up to host One-Day Cup matches. The final will again be played at Trent Bridge on Saturday 16 September. (ANI)
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