Tue, 31 Jan 2023

London [UK], November 30 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday announced the schedule for the 2023 domestic season for both men's and women's cricket.

The men's County Championship will kick off the domestic season on April 6, with 14 fixtures per county.

The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixture list has doubled in size, with twice the number of 50-over fixtures per season, while there will also be 20 double-headers across the Charlotte Edwards Cup and T20 Blast.

T20 Blast starts with T20 Blast Off - featuring a double-header of two T20 Blast matches - at Edgbaston on May 20 with a sold-out finals day at the same venue on July 15. The One-Day Cup runs from August 1-September 16.

As previously agreed, the 2023 County Championship format is unchanged from 2022. Across Division One and Division Two, each county will play 14 home and away fixtures with two teams relegated and two teams promoted.

The County Championship resumes on April 6, with the first round of matches running over the Easter weekend. All 18 First Class Counties are in action in the opening round.

Surrey begin their title defence at Emirates Old Trafford - the venue at which they lifted the trophy last season.

The opening seven rounds are played from Thursday-Sunday on successive weeks. Each county has a week off for rest and recovery during the first five rounds of the season.

A round of fixtures will be played in the week before the 1st Men's Ashes Test, will start from June 16 onwards. Five rounds of fixtures will be played in June and July, the final round of fixtures begins on September 26.

T20 Blast will remain the same format as 2022 - each county will play 14 group-stage matches, with the top four in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.

The competition is set to start in spectacular style with Edgbaston hosting the T20 Blast Off on Saturday 20 May.

T20 Blast Off will give fans their first opportunity to watch a double-header that will feature Birmingham Bears against Yorkshire Vikings, and Derbyshire Falcons up against last season's finalists Lancashire Lightning.

Finals Day - once again a sell-out - remains one of the stand-out days in the domestic cricket calendar and this year will be played on July 15, and would not clash with England Men's white-ball fixtures.

Defending champions Hampshire Hawks begin their title defence on May 24 at Somerset.

Friday night is T20 Blast night with 48 games taking place across six consecutive Friday nights.

Rachael Heyhoe Flint TrophyThe Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy fixture list has doubled in size, with the one group of eight regional teams now playing home and away fixtures, meaning 14 group fixtures per team.

The competition begins on April 22 with second and third rounds played over the following Bank Holiday weekend.

Defending champions Northern Diamonds begin at home to Western Storm at Headingley. The Blaze - the new home of women's regional cricket in the East Midlands - will begin their new era on April 22.

The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Final will be played on September 24 at The County Ground, Northampton.

Charlotte Edwards CupThere will be 21 double-headers across Charlotte Edwards Cup and T20 Blast matches from 25 May 25 until June 7. Eighteen venues will host double-headers including Blackpool.

There is one more fixture for each team this season, with the eight teams forming one group and playing home or away, meaning seven group fixtures per team.

The competition starts under lights at the Cloud County Ground on May 18, with Sunrisers v Central Sparks. The final will be held at New Road on June 10.

One-Day CupThe One-Day Cup group stage will be played alongside The Hundred, beginning on August 1. Defending champions Kent begin away to Yorkshire at Scarborough.

All 18 First Class Counties will play against a National County in warm-up games on July 30. Sussex and Somerset will play a further game each on August 1.

Outgrounds have become a feature of the One-Day Cup and this will continue - eight outgrounds so far are set to host One-Day Cup fixtures. The final will once again be played at Trent Bridge, on Saturday, September 16. (ANI)

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