The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled a new and ambitious strategic plan with the goal of delivering successful England teams at all levels, producing a vibrant domestic game and increasing and enthusing participation during the period 2014-17.
The latest strategic plan - Champion Counties - has been designed to build on the outstanding success of the 2005 plan - Building Partnerships - and the subsequent 2009 initiative - Grounds to Play.
A round-up of the day's county cricket action plus previews of tomorrow's round seven games.
Rain in the Netherlands meant that only 10.2 overs were bowled in Schiedam as the Group A Yorkshire Bank 40 between the hosts and Sussex ended in a no result.
There were wins for Nottinghamshire, Essex, Sussex and a remarkable one inside two days for Worcestershire at Canterbury as round six of the LV= County Championship drew to a close. Alan Richardson was Worcestershire's familiar bowling star and took seven wickets in the Kent second innings.
Middlesex retook top spot in Division One of the LV= County Championship as they completed the anticipated thrashing of Somerset. Elsewhere, Yorkshire hammered defending champions Warwickshire, while Surrey's bowlers set up an intriguing final day at Trent Bridge.
There were good days for Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Middlesex, Sussex and Essex on the second day of matches in round six of the LV= County Championship. Among those putting in starring roles were Ravi Bopara, Tim Murtagh, Michael Yardy, Andrew Hall and Adil Rashid.
The rain largely stayed away from the country's cricket grounds to allow round six of the LV= County Championship to get underway. All six teams who won the toss unexpectedly decided to bowl under cloudy skies, but the batsmen didn't fare too badly on the whole. Only Warwickshire were routed - for 128 by Yorkshire - with plenty of half-centuries on offer elsewhere.
We preview the sixth round of matches in the LV= County Championship which get underway tomorrow, with Surrey's trip to Trent Bridge and Middlesex's to Taunton the picks of the action.
Rain ruined much of the day's LV= County Championship action as the three concluding matches at Edgbaston, Bristol and Worcester ended in draws. The weather, however, wasn't able to save Yorkshire's bowlers in the Yorkshire Bank 40 as it was sixes that rained from the bats of the Somerset batsmen at Headingley.
There was high drama in both of the day's concluding LV= County Championship matches, with Yorkshire almost pulling off the unthinkable against Somerset and arch rivals Lancashire doing just that against Essex. Elsewhere, Ryan Buckley marked a memorable debut by dismissing a Graeme Smith-less Surrey for just 237 on day one at The Oval.
Rain significantly shortened play in all five LV= County Championship matches today as, coupled with a strong wind, it made conditions unpleasant for first-class cricket. Sam Robson did have time to hit a career-best 215 not out against a depleted Warwickshire attack, while Yorkshire's and Leicestershire's bowlers made inroads in their matches.
Rain played it part in the LV= County Championship today, but Sam Robson still found time to complete his second century in as many matches, while Jimmy Adams led a partial Hampshire recovery in Division Two at Bristol and Essex edged ahead at Old Trafford.
Centuries from Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid and Graham Napier helped Yorkshire and Essex recover from perilous positions against Somerset and Lancashire as the LV= County Championship resumed after the Bank Holiday weekend break for the Yorkshire Bank 40.
There was a winning start for Leicestershire in the Yorkshire Bank 40 thanks to rapid centuries from their openers, captain Josh Cobb and wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien. Meanwhile, at Lord's, Middlesex's opening pair of Chris Rogers and Sam Robson also both reached three figures after they had been asked to follow-on by Surrey.
There more was joy in cricket's northern heartlands today as Lancashire followed up Yorkshire and Durham's triumphs yesterday with one of their own at Colwyn Bay. Elsewhere, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire completed wins over Kent and Leicestershire.
There will be plenty of beer consumed in northern England tonight after Yorkshire and Durham both pulled off unexpected wins on the final day of their matches. It can't be too often that a man carries his bat for 270 and sees his team lose by an innings but that is precisely what happened at Headingley thanks to Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jack Brooks. Durham's win against Nottinghamshire came courtesy of a run chase that wouldn't disgrace a Twenty20 game, with Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard the stars in their victory.
There was a backs-to-the-wall win for a beleaguered Essex on the third day at Chelmsford as they chased down their target of 143 despite being reduced to 31 for six. Elsewhere, Jonny Bairstow ad Joe Root made huge scores against Derbyshire; Durham manoeuvred themselves into a good position against Nottinghamshire; and Gloucestershire's lower-order mounted a stirring fightback at Grace Road.
Chesney Hughes almost broke a century-old record on the second day in Leeds, but was left stranded four short of George Davidson's 274 scored in 1896. Elsewhere, Essex took a slender lead over Hampshire, Leicestershire were saved by Shiv Thakor and Matthew Boyce against Gloucestershire and Will Smith bit a welcome century for Durham at Trent Bridge.
Round four of the LV= County Championship began today with matches at Trent Bridge, Headingley and Chelmsford. Chesney Hughes was the day's star performer - the Anguilla-born all-rounder hitting a career-best 171 on his return to the Derbyshire side. Elsewhere there were runs for James Taylor and Steven Mullaney and wickets for David Masters and Reece Topley.
The race for the title remains closely-contested at this early point in the season. Second-placed Warwickshire endured a day to forget at Taunton, while Sussex and Nottinghamshire did their hopes no harm with good displays against Surrey and Derbyshire. In Division Two, Northamptonshire are on course to open up a big lead at the top, with Hampshire odds on to move up to second following their anticipated win against Worcestershire.
Title challengers Warwickshire were put to the sword at Taunton, while there were runs elsewhere for James Taylor, Luke Wells and Moeen Ali. Durham edged ahead of what could prove a clash between the relegation candidates come September at Chester-le-Street, while Northamptonshire continued their strong run with another tail-end wag at Bristol.
There were centuries from Gary Wilson and Jimmy Adams as round three of the LV= County Championship got underway. Elsewhere, there were good bowling returns for England seamers Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan at Derby, Old Trafford and Chester-le-Street.
The favourites for this year's LV= County Championship, Warwickshire and Middlesex, sit out the third round of matches. Nottinghamshire will hope to add their name to the list of title contenders with a win at Derby, while Surrey captain Graeme Smith is still aiming for his first win after the rain-affected draw against Somerset.
Warwickshire recorded the first win of what they hope will be a successful title defence, while Glamorgan made history in Cardiff as the second round of matches in the LV= County Championship drew to a close in the English spring sunshine.