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Fans predict Yorkshire triumph

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Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire, despite winning the LV= County Championship last year, garnered just 8% of the votes cast by supporters on Facebook

The LV= County Championship begins tomorrow and cricket fans have predicted that the 2011 winner will be Yorkshire. Over 2,500 fans placed their predictions on the Official England Cricket - TwelfthMan Facebook page, with Yorkshire winning 28.3% of the votes.

Following a successful first year of providing highlights with over one million views throughout the season, ecb.co.uk will once again be providing coverage of the LV= County Championship all summer long with coverage of every match and video highlights of every day available on www.ecb.co.uk/lvcc.

Current champions Nottinghamshire will begin the defence of their title on Thursday April 14 when they will face Hampshire at Trent Bridge.

The LV= County Championship runs throughout the season with the final round of matches beginning on Monday September 12.

The first round of matches involves 14 teams with newly-promoted Sussex travelling to Lancashire and Worcestershire, who also gained promotion, hosting Yorkshire.

Durham, who won the LV= County Championship in 2008 and 2009, will be hoping for a strong start to their 2011 campaign when they travel to the Rose Bowl to face Hampshire.

In Division Two, the pick of the matches sees Essex and Kent, both relegated last season, meet at Chelmsford.

Mike Gatting, ECB managing director cricket partnerships, said: “The LV= County Championship is an integral part of the domestic season both for players and fans and it is fantastic that we will once again be able to follow the fortunes of all 18 teams during every single game throughout the season.

“Last year’s astonishing finale, with Nottinghamshire securing the title late on the final day of the competition, was one of the highlights of the summer and I have no doubt the 2011 season will prove just as enthralling.”

David Smith, LV= executive director, added: “This is our 10th season as sponsor of the oldest competition in domestic cricket and we're very proud of our association.

“If this season is as exciting as the last, then we’re in for another great summer. We'd like to wish all 18 counties the best of luck for the season ahead.”

The 2010 LV= County Championship provided one of the most pulsating finales to a season in living memory.

Going into the final round of fixtures three sides, Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Yorkshire were all title contenders.

Nottinghamshire looked outsiders to win their first title since 2005 heading into the last day after the opening three days of their match against Lancashire were affected by rain.

However, Chris Read’s side remarkably made up a six-point deficit on Somerset, who could only draw at Durham, to finish level with the south-west county and claim the title on account of having won more games. Meanwhile, Yorkshire lost to Kent to end their title hopes.

How the votes were cast

Yorkshire: 28%
Lancashire: 20%
Somerset: 13%
Durham: 9%
Nottinghamshire: 8%
Hampshire: 7%
Sussex: 7%
Warwickshire: 5%
Worcestershire: 3%

Want to know which players have gone where? Click here for all the comings and goings since last summer