ECB Announce the Fixtures for the 2011 County Season - 04/01/11
The first round of LV= County Championship matches starts on Friday, April 8 with the last round scheduled to commence on Monday, September 12. Current champions Nottinghamshire will travel to Abu Dhabi for the traditional season curtain raiser against the MCC before beginning the defence of their title at Trent Bridge when they face Hampshire on Thursday, April 14.
The Clydesdale Bank 40, the first of the limited overs competitions, begins on Sunday, April 24 with 16 of the 21 teams in action on the opening day. The competition format sees the 18 First Class Counties joined by Scotland, Netherlands and the Unicorns. The teams have been split into three groups of seven and will play every other side in their group home and away with the three group winners and the best second-placed side contesting the semi finals on Sunday, September 4. The final marks the end of the 2011 season and will be played on Saturday, September 17 at Lord's with play scheduled to start at 11.30am.
The domestic Twenty20 competition, the Friends Provident t20, involves the 18 First Class Counties divided into two geographical groups. The competition begins on Wednesday, June 1 with a rematch of the 2010 Final when current champions Hampshire Royals take on Somerset at The Rose Bowl. This year almost 70% of matches will be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The top four teams in each group will compete in the quarter finals scheduled to take place between August 6-8 with the four winners earning a place in Finals Day which will be at Edgbaston on Saturday, August 27 with the first semi final scheduled to begin at 11.00am.
There will also be over 70 days of international cricket throughout the season with Sri Lanka, India, Sri Lanka A, Australia women, New Zealand women, India women and South Africa Under-19s all touring - beginning in May when England Lions face Sri Lanka in Derby and ending on Friday, September 16 when England face India in the final ODI of the five-match NatWest Series at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
There will be numerous opportunities to watch international women's cricket next summer with England women hosting a quadrangular Twenty20 and ODI series involving Australia women, India women and New Zealand women throughout June and July.
A full list of fixtures is available at www.ecb.co.uk/fixtures2011