What is the format of the 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship?
There will be 10 counties in Division One and eight in Division Two with a two-up, two-down promotion-and-relegation system.
Each county will play 14 LV= Insurance County Championship matches.
Who decided that the LV= Insurance County Championship will return to two divisions?
The First-Class Counties decide on any changes to the structure of domestic competitions. The First-Class County chairs voted this week resulting in a return to two divisions from next summer.
Next summer will, therefore, be the first time the LV= Insurance County Championship had been played in two divisions since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
Why will there be 10 counties in Division One?
The First-Class Counties agreed this change to the structure of the LV= Insurance County Championship before the pandemic.
This agreement was made following the recommendation of the 2018 Domestic Playing Programme review, which was chaired by then Leicestershire CEO Wasim Khan.
That recommendation was to change the structure of the LV= Insurance County Championship so that 10 counties would play in Division One and eight in Division Two – a 10:8 model.
The first steps were then taken to transition to the 10:8 model during the 2019 LV= Insurance County Championship season – when there were eight counties in Division One and 10 counties in Division Two.
At the end of that season three counties were promoted from Division Two (Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire) while the last-placed county in Division One (Nottinghamshire) was relegated.
There has, however, not been a two-division LV= County Championship since due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Which counties will play in Division One and how was that decided?
The three counties that were promoted at the end of the 2019 LV= County Championship (Lancashire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire) will be given the opportunity they earned to play in Division One. They will join the seven counties that were not relegated in 2019.
Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire
Derbyshire, Durham, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Worcestershire.
Results from the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy and the 2021 LV= Insurance County Championship could not be included in the qualification criteria for next season.
When the First-Class Counties voted to change the format of this year’s LV= Insurance County Championship there was no agreement that those results would determine qualification for a return to a two-division structure.
When will fixtures be announced?
The ECB is aiming to announce fixtures no earlier than the end of November.
Will the Bob Willis Trophy be played next summer?
The ECB is very keen to retain the Bob Willis Trophy in some capacity and to continue to honour Bob’s legacy, however it’s unlikely that there will be an end-of-season showpiece match as seen in 2020 and 2021.