The newly formed Royal London One-Day Cup begins this weekend as the counties take a break from the County Championship. With the T20 Blast group stages also coming to a close this week the ECB have scheduled this weekend to be the time for the launch of their new 50-over competition.

The Royal London Cup replaces the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition which ran from 2010 to 2013. Many see this change as a wise move by the ECB as the new format will mirror one-day international cricket and will hopefully help develop England players for this version of the game.

First-class counties

This new competition, aside from the obvious change in the number of overs, is only open to the first-class counties, unlike the previous YB40 which included the national teams of Scotland and the Netherlands as well as the Unicorns.

There will also be two groups consisting of nine teams each with the top four from each group progressing through to the quarter-finals. Counties are also looking to play more games away from their usual home grounds, if possible, to open up the game to more supporters. For instance this weekend there are games scheduled to be played at Cheltenham, Horsham and Guildford. The ECB and Royal London hope that the scheduling of matches during the school summer holidays, and ticket give-aways, will attract
youngsters to the games.

First weekend

The first weekend of matches throws up some tantalising ties. Saturday sees Lancashire take on Yorkshire in Group A at Old Trafford in a day/night game, in what will be another must-see Roses clash, whilst last year's YB40 runners-up Glamorgan take on Middlesex in Cardiff, in Group B.

Sunday is the day when the majority of games are being played over the weekend with Nottinghamshire, last year's YB40 champions, taking on Sussex at Horsham, whilst Leicestershire and Derbyshire do battle at Leicester in a Midlands derby .

Each side will play eight group games before the knock-out stages, with the competition ending on Saturday the 20th September at Lords as the two finalists compete in a typical end of season finale.

Group A

Hampshire

Derbyshire Falcons

Lancashire Lightning

Gloucestershire
Gladiators

Leicestershire Foxes

Northamptonshire
Steelbacks

Worcestershire

Essex Eagles

Yorkshire Vikings

Group B

Kent Spitfires

Durham

Glamorgan

Nottinghamshire Outlaws

Sussex Sharks

Warwickshire Bears

Surrey

Middlesex Panthers

Somerset

The full fixtures for the first weekend of the Royal London Cup

Saturday 26th July

Group A - Derbyshire v Hampshire

Group B - Glamorgan v Middlesex

Group A - Lancashire v Yorkshire

Sunday 27th July

Group A - Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire

Group A - Leicestershire v Derbyshire

Group B - Middlesex v Warwickshire

Group B - Somerset v Durham

Group B - Sussex v Nottinghamshire

Group B - Worcestershire v Essex

Group B - Surrey v Glamorgan

Group A - Lancashire v Hampshire

 

Topics:
Cricket
England cricket