The ECB is responsible for running the three county competitions in the men’s professional game and the two tournaments at the top of the women’s game.
In addition, The Hundred – which features eight city-based teams in both the men’s and women’s competitions – launches in 2021, aiming to open cricket to more families and young people.
Men’s County Cricket
The 18 First Class Counties compete in the LV= Insurance County Championship, the Vitality Blast and the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The LV= County Championship, which was first established in 1890, features three groups of six with each side playing 10 four-day matches before a second group stage culminating in a final at Lord’s. The winners receive the Bob Willis Trophy, named in honour of the former England fast bowler who died in December 2019.
The Vitality Blast, played in the T20 format, returns to a 14-game group-stage format for 2021. Kicking off in June, it culminates with Finals Day in September at its now traditional home of Edgbaston.
The Royal London One-Day Cup returns following a Covid-enforced hiatus in 2020 with a few changes. The final is set to be staged at Trent Bridge for the first time and the 50-overs-a-side competition proper will be preceded by 20 fixtures between National Counties (formerly Minor Counties) and First Class Counties.
Women’s Domestic Cricket
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy returns in 2021 alongside the new Women’s Regional T20 as part of a new era for women’s domestic cricket.
In the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, named in honour of one of women’s cricket most notable pioneers, a group of eight teams play each other once before a September final.
In the Women’s Regional T20 eight teams are split into two groups of four with each team playing six matches before Finals Day also in September.
The Hundred, a key part of the ECB’s Inspiring Generations strategy to grow cricket, is a new 100-ball competition launching in July 2021. It will showcase world-class cricket in a fast-paced format designed to open cricket up to a broader audience as well.
The competition features eight brand new teams from seven cities – Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London (two sides), Manchester, Nottingham and Southampton - with men’s and women’s competitions taking place side by side.