ECB confirms County Championship will return to two divisions in 2022 with 10-8 team split

Nottinghamshire will be in Division Two after being relegated from the top flight in 2019; First-class cricket was modified in 2020 and 2021 in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Warwickshire celebrates after winning the 2021 county championship

The County Championship will return to a two-division format in 2022 for the first time since 2019, but with a divisional division of 10 teams and eight teams.

First-class counties voted to change the format of men’s first-class cricket during the pandemic, with the introduction of the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 and a three-group seeded system used for the 2021 campaign.

Warwickshire was crowned County Champion last month and then lifted the Bob Willis Trophy by beating Lancashire by one inning and 199 runs, at Lord’s.

They will duly take their place in Division One of the LV = 2022 County Insurance County Championship along with: Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Yorkshire.

Division Two will consist of: Durham, Derbyshire, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Worcestershire

The system of ascent and descent will be two up, two down.

The transition process to a 10: 8 structure began during the 2019 LV = Insurance County Championship. At the end of that season, three counties were promoted from Division Two (Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire) while the last county in the Division One (Nottinghamshire) was relegated.

Announcing the changes, a statement from the ECB said: “It has always been the intention of the first-class counties and the ECB to return to the two-division structure as soon as possible.”

“After first-class counties voted to change the format of first-class men’s cricket in 2020 and 2021 to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, this week’s vote also considered the option of playing one more year of the structure. of the seeded group that was carried out successfully this summer.

“Although there was support from the counties to use the 2022 season as a way to roll back to a two-division structure, there was not the two-thirds majority that is required under the articles of the ECB.”

Earlier this month, Nasser Hussain described the county’s structure as “abysmal,” while fellow expert Mark Butcher insisted that he would like to see a return to a two-division structure for red ball cricket.

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