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Durham travel to Trent Bridge for County Championship opener

Durham home ground, Emirates Riverside
Durham home ground, Emirates Riverside
©REUTERS
 

Durham will travel to Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire for their opening County Championship fixture of the 2021 season, after the ECB today confirmed next summer’s First-Class red ball schedule.

The Men’s County Championship will return on Thursday 8 April with all 18 First-Class Counties set to be in action during the opening round of fixtures.

Durham will kick off their campaign on the road with back-to-back away fixtures, travelling to the Cloudfm County Ground to face Bob Willis Trophy Winners Essex on Thursday 15 April.

Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire will then visit Emirates Riverside throughout April and May, with three consecutive home fixtures.
The First-Class Counties agreed in October to reshape the Men’s County Championship structure for next summer only to help mitigate against the possible impact of COVID-19.

Each First-Class County has initially been placed into one of three seeded groups of six and has been scheduledto play five home matches and five away matches during the Group Stage.

The opening nine rounds of Group Stage matches are to be played on consecutive weeks and all are due to begin on a Thursday with a scheduled Sunday finish.

The Group Stage will conclude in July with the Round 10 and 11 matches to begin on a Sunday. All the FirstClass Counties will play in the final round of Group Stage fixtures.

The top two counties in each group, at the end of the Group Stage, will progress to Division One, with the other counties moving into Divisions Two and Three, where they will each play a further four matches.

The winner of Division One will be crowned the 2021 County Championship winners.

The opening round of Divisional Stage matches will begin on the Bank Holiday Monday 30 August.

The five-day Bob Willis Trophy final will be played between the top two counties in Division One and is scheduled to start on Tuesday 27 September.

ECB Managing Director County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: "We’re all looking forward to the return of the County Championship in 2021 after a very challenging year in 2020.

“Despite the significant hurdles that we faced this year, the domestic game still found a way to play meaningful cricket across men’s and women’s formats while ensuring that our members and supporters were able to remain close to the game through advanced live streaming of matches.

“Once again, we have seen an innovative and collaborative approach between the ECB and the 18 First Class Counties that has enabled us to plan for 2021 with a new, County Championship structure for 2021 only, that is designed to be both exciting for players and supporters and also flexible to the possible ongoing impact of COVID-19.

“We are also working hard with all 18 First-Class Counties to ensure that we are able to welcome the return of crowds safely next year and will continue to work closely with Government and all relevant authorities.”

For the full fixture County list visit ecb.co.uk or receive the County Championship schedules direct to you with the ECB’s digital calendar via this link.
Fixtures for the remaining domestic women’s and men’s white-ball competitions are set to be announced in early 2021.

Durham County Championship Fixtures 2021:

Nottinghamshire v Durham, Thursday 8 April, Trent Bridge
Essex v Durham, Thursday 15 April, The Cloud FM County Ground
Durham v Derbyshire, Thursday 22 April, Emirates Riverside
Durham v Warwickshire, Thursday 29 April, Emirates Riverside
Durham v Worcestershire, Thursday 13 May, Emirates Riverside
Derbyshire v Durham, Thursday 20 May, The Incora County Ground
Durham v Essex, Thursday 27 May, Emirates Riverside
Worcestershire v Durham, Thursday 3 June, New Road
Warwickshire v Durham, Sunday 4 July, Edgbaston
Durham v Nottinghamshire, Sunday 11 July, Emirates Riverside
*Divisional Matches to be played between 30 August and 24 September.

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