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Fixtures revealed for Bob Willis Trophy with Essex to host Kent in the opening round

Fixtures revealed for Bob Willis Trophy – cricket’s one-off league for 2020 – with reigning champion Essex hosting Kent in the opening round

  • The Bob Willis Trophy is the abbreviated premier league of domestic cricket for 2020
  • It is a regionalized event with five rounds of competition starting one week on Saturday
  • Yorkshire and Lancashire will face each other on 22 August in Headingley

Reigning provincial champions Essex will receive Kent in the opening round of the Bob Willis Trophy, the concise premier league of English domestic cricket for 2020.

The regionalized five round match event kicks off a week on Saturday, when other notable matches are the 2018 championship winners Surrey vs Middlesex in the Kia Oval.

Yorkshire and Lancashire resume their rivalry with Roses at Headingley in the penultimate round of North Group games on August 22.

Reigning provincial champion Essex will receive Kent in the opening round of the Bob Willis Trophy

Reigning provincial champion Essex will receive Kent in the opening round of the Bob Willis Trophy

FIRST ROUND: SATURDAY AUGUST 1

Central – Gloucestershire v Worcestershire (Bristol); Somerset v Glamorgan (Taunton); Warwickshire v Northants (Edgbaston).

North Derbyshire against Notts (Trent Bridge); Durham v Yorkshire (Riverside); Leicestershire v Lancashire (TB).

South Essex v Kent (Chelmsford); Surrey v Middlesex (Kia Oval); Sussex v Hampshire (Hove).

The two group winners with the highest number of points after round five compete for a five-day final. Lord’s remains the preferred location and a provisional date of 1-5 October has been set, although the ECB has remained flexible on this, not least because the land is being rebuilt.

Likewise, the final day for the Twenty20 competition – the games that follow next month – is set for September 26, but can be switched if the coronavirus situation makes it necessary.

As Sportsmail revealed, medical concerns about the physical impact of a demanding schedule on bowlers who have had less than ideal preparation times for four-day cricket have led to changes in this year’s playing conditions, including a reduction from 96 overs per day to 90, a cut-off on the first innings of 120 overs and an increase in the follow-on from 150 to 200.

The new ball becomes available after 90 overs.

The 16 points for a victory used in the County Championship are retained, but eight points are awarded for draws to mitigate the bad weather and to reduce the chance that teams that start the final round well will book final places .

In a drawn final, the winners of the league would be determined by the highest score in the first innings.

The trophy is shared in the event that one or both first innings are not completed.

Yorkshire and Lancashire resume their rivalry with Roses at Headingley in the penultimate round

Yorkshire and Lancashire resume their rivalry with Roses at Headingley in the penultimate round

Yorkshire and Lancashire resume their rivalry with Roses at Headingley in the penultimate round

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