Lancashire is one of 18 First-Class Counties

All 18 First-Class Counties have committed to taking part in the same red-ball and white-ball competitions this Summer in the men’s shortened domestic season. 

Fixtures will be announced later this month for the First-Class Counties, a status held by Lancashire Cricket since they were founded in 1864.

The men’s season will kick off with a four-day red-ball competition that will involve all 18 First-Class Counties, with a trophy in honour of ex-England captain Bob Willis up for grabs.

Speaking to his club before the announcement of the Bob Willis Trophy, Lancashire’s Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, said: “It would be great and wonderful recognition for Bob, who was a champion of the game in every aspect.

“He may have come across as a bit of a curmudgeon on the TV, and he cultivated that persona quite beautifully, actually. But there was nobody more delighted if England did well or if players performed well.”

Allott made his England Test debut alongside Willis in the famous 1981 Ashes series, when England came from behind to win three Tests to Australia’s one and retain the Ashes.

Allott added: “Bob was an attempted reformer of the game. He was part of the Cricket Reform Group in the early 2000s.

“He and I, I remember, sat on the boundary edge in up country India – in Nagpur – 40 years ago trying to devise a method and a structure for county cricket that would make it more productive both for players and for England.

“It never quite came to fruition. But for Bob to have a tournament named after him would be very fitting.”

The Bob Willis Trophy competition will then be followed by a shortened Vitality Blast competition on August 27.

Speaking on the resume of the domestic season, ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “The enforced break due to COVID-19 has provided a challenging period for the county game during which time the 18 First-Class Counties have been united with a common goal to get back to our core function of playing cricket.

“The commitment of the Chairs and Chief Executives of the First-Class Counties to work together to achieve that ambition has been resolute and we will remain in close discussion as we continue to assess risk factors that need to be mitigated in order to ensure the safety and welfare of their players, coaches and staff.

“We are all delighted that agreement has been reached across the game and we are now in a position to look forward to and prepare for a new men’s domestic season starting on 1 August.”

Those with tickets for men’s domestic games and FCC members will be contacted from venues with the options that are available to them once a new fixture schedule is announced.


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