All posts by Paul Sussex

2021 County Championship & Bob Willis Trophy News

Next summer will see the return of both the County Championship and the Bob Willis Trophy after the First-Class Counties agreed a revised structure for next season.

Glamorgan are in Group 3 with Kent, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Sussex.

Here are some common questions with responses about both competitions to help you come to grips with the plans.

What are the formats for the competitions?

Every team will begin the season with the opportunity to win both the County Championship and the Bob Willis Trophy. The County Championship will run in two stages:

Group Stage

The 18 First-Class Counties have been split into three seeded groups of six counties. Each county will play the other counties in their group both home and away – a total of 10 matches.

At the end of the group stage, the top two counties in each group will progress to Division One for the second phase of the County Championship.

The other 12 counties will move into Divisions Two and Three. The third and fourth-placed teams will progress to Division Two while the fifth and sixth-placed teams move to Division Three.

Division Stage

The First-Class Counties will play their final four County Championship matches after progressing to their Division.

How can a team win the County Championship?

The 2021 County Championship title will be decided by the team that finishes top of Division One.

How is the winner of the Bob Willis Trophy decided?

The top two teams in Division One will play for the Bob Willis Trophy in a five-day final at Lord’s to ensure a showpiece event to conclude the men’s first-class domestic season.

The playing conditions for the final are to be confirmed and will be announced in due course.

Which counties are in the three County Championship groups?

All three groups have six teams, shown in order of seeding:

Group 1: Essex, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Durham

Group 2: Somerset, Hampshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Middlesex, Leicestershire Group

Group 3: Kent, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan, Sussex

The three groups for the 2021 County Championship

How were the groups decided?

Seedings for the Group Stage of the 2021 County Championship have been determined based on performances during the 2019 County Championship and the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy.

There has been a provision to accommodate derby matches within the groups, where appropriate with the seeding structure. This is to ensure that county members and supporters can look forward to some of county cricket’s oldest rivalries resuming home and away next summer.

Could a team win both titles?

Yes. Glamorgan (+16 others) will be competing to prevent Essex defending both titles after winning the 2019 County Championship and the Bob Willis Trophy this summer.

The full fixture list for the 2021 season, and the playing conditions for the men’s first-class season, will be announced in due course.

Vitality Blast 2020 fixtures: Edgbaston Finals Day to conclude domestic season

Vitality Blast 2020 fixtures: Edgbaston Finals Day to conclude domestic season

Thursday August 27th 2020 18:30 BST, Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan vs Worcestershire Rapids

Saturday August 29th 2020 14:00 BST, The Bristol County Ground, Bristol

Gloucestershire vs Glamorgan

Sunday August 30th 2020 14:00 BST, Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan vs Birmingham Bears

Tuesday September 1st 2020 18:30 BST, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton

Somerset CCC vs Glamorgan

Thursday September 3rd 2020 18:30 BST, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Steelbacks vs Glamorgan

Friday September 11th 2020 18:30 BST, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Birmingham Bears vs Glamorgan

Sunday September 13th 2020 14:00 BST, Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan vs Steelbacks

Wednesday September 16th 2020 18:30 BST, Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan vs Somerset CCC

Friday September 18th 2020 18:30 BST, Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan vs Gloucestershire

Sunday September 20th 2020 13:00 BST, Blackfinch New Road, Worcester

Worcestershire Rapids vs Glamorgan

Thursday October 1st 2020 18:30 BST, Venues: TBC

Quarter Final 1, Vitality Blast 2020 TBC v TBC

Quarter Final 2, Vitality Blast 2020 TBC v TBC

Quarter Final 3, Vitality Blast 2020 TBC v TBC

Quarter Final 4, Vitality Blast 2020 TBC v TBC

Vitality Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday 3 October 2020

For more information:


The Bob Willis Trophy will hold first-class status, but is a separate competition from the County Championship, and will comprise three regionalised groups, consisting of six counties per group. Glamorgan are in the Central Group with Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The First Class Counties will play five group-stage matches – one against each county in their group – with the two group winners with the most points set to progress to a five-day final.

AUGUST (11:00 BST)

1st – 4th Somerset, Taunton, Coopers Associates County Ground

8th – 11th Worcestershire, Worcester, Blackfinch New Road

15th – 18th Gloucestershire, Cardiff, Sophia Gardens

22nd – 25th Northamptonshire, Northampton, The County Ground


6th – 9th Warwickshire, Cardiff, Sophia Gardens

FINAL – Wednesday 23 September 2020, a 5 day fixture to be held at Lord’s

Playing conditions 

The domestic competitions will be staged under strict health and safety protocols with the Bob Willis Trophy also set to feature ECB Board-approved changes to playing conditions to help ensure the wellbeing of players, most significantly fast bowlers, following the long lay-off due to COVID-19.

The playing conditions have been put in place following extensive medical research and in collaboration with the First-Class Counties and the Professional Cricketers’ Association, and include:

  • A reduction from a minimum of 96 overs to a minimum of 90 overs in a day’s play
  • Each county’s first innings of a match can last no longer than 120 overs
  • The follow-on will increase from 150 to 200 runs
  • The new ball will be available after 90 overs rather than 80 overs

How to watch / follow:

At this moment members and supporters will not be able to attend in person at Sophia Gardens it will however be possible to watch Glamorgan’s home fixtures on the Glamorgan live stream utility. It is likely that the other counties will have similar arrangements. Please refer to the ECB link below for further information on this topic.

Update on the Vitality Blast

The fixtures for the Vitality Blast Competition have been confirmed and released, the competition is set to start on the 27th August currently scheduled behind closed doors. See separate post for details.

Further links:


7 JULY 2020

The ECB has released the following announcement for the 2020 cricket season:

The First-Class Counties have agreed to play both red-ball and white-ball cricket during this summer’s shortened men’s domestic season.

A majority vote was reached at a meeting of the FCC chairs today following approval by the ECB Board last month for the new season to commence on August 1.

Today’s agreement by the FCCs will be passed on for ECB Board approval in the coming days after which the details of the new fixture schedule will be drawn up and then announced.

The safety and wellbeing of all players, staff and officials remains the priority of the ECB and all FCCs will undergo further medical risk assessments and venue compliance approval as planning progresses to ensure safe environments for the start of the men’s domestic season.

Ticket holders for men’s domestic matches and FCC members are set to be contacted by venues with the options available to them after a new fixture schedule is announced.

Recognition after 50 years for Alan Jones M.B.E., President of the St. Helen’s Balconiers

Today, on the 50th anniversary of his only appearance for England in the first match of the 1970 series against the Rest of the World XI, Glamorgan legend Alan Jones was awarded with England cap 696.

In a special ceremony, conducted via Zoom, Alan received the cap after speeches from Colin Graves, Joe Root, Tony Lewis, and Hugh Morris. In attendance were a number of former Glamorgan players and staff, who were coached by Jones throughout the age groups and during his time at Glamorgan, as well as members of the national media.

For a collection of reports and articles please refer to the following websites / articles (not exhaustive):

28 May 2020 – ECB update on the domestic and recreational game

The ECB has confirmed a further delay to the start of the professional domestic cricket season, with no domestic cricket to be played before 1 August.

The specifics of the season remain subject to ongoing advice from UK Government and health experts, but the ambition remains to host domestic men’s and women’s cricket across England and Wales later this summer.

For a fuller report please refer to either the ECB website or the Glamorgan CCC website. Both are listed below.

ECB Announcement on delay to the Season – Update 24 April 2020

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today agreed that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least 1 July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The season remains subject to ongoing advice from government and health experts, and continued consultation with all broadcast partners to determine the optimum way to fulfil fixtures both domestically and internationally. 

The ECB Board approved the following measures:

  • Professional cricket will not be played in England and Wales until at least 1 July
  • Nine rounds of fixtures will be lost in the County Championship season, but blocks for red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket will be held in a revised schedule
  • The Vitality Blast will be pushed as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged. All matches previously scheduled in June will be moved later in the season
  • International cricket, featuring England men’s and women’s teams, will look to be scheduled from July until the end of September, with the West Indies Test Series and the whole women’s series against India (Vitality IT20s and Royal London ODIs) both moving from their original slots
  • An additional Board meeting will be scheduled next Wednesday on The Hundred, following a request to dedicate a further session to the competition

More at

Sad news – Peter Walker

It is with sadness that the St Helen’s Balconiers record that former Glamorgan and England cricketer and broadcaster Peter Walker has died aged 84 after a stroke.

An integral member of Glamorgan’s Championship winning team of 1969 and a man who featured in the Club’s historic victories over the 1964 and 1968 Australians.

A selection of obituaries and tributes can be accessed via the links below:

Glamorgan CCC


Welsh Sports Hall of Fame


Professional Cricketers’ Association

The Cricketer


The ECB Board has today agreed that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least May 28 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board approved the recommendation to delay the start of the season following discussions with the First Class Counties, the MCC and the PCA.

It was agreed that, given the current information available, a seven-week delay to the start of the season is the most appropriate approach.

The ECB has begun modelling a range of options to start the season in June, July or August –with an immediate focus on options for cricket in June, including the three-Test series against West Indies, the Vitality Blast and England Women’s schedule against India.

Close liaison with the Government will continue, with discussions on the potential of starting the season behind closed doors and giving sports fans the opportunity to live broadcast action.

The potential for reduced versions of competitions, should the season become further truncated, will also be discussed.

The Board will meet as needed to review the position and make further decisions as the UK situation unfolds.

ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “During this period of deep uncertainty it is the ECB’s first priority to protect the wellbeing of everyone within the cricket family, from players, to fans and colleagues across the game.

“The decision to delay the start of the season has been essential, given the circumstances the nation faces. I am reassured by the collaborative effort from across the game that together, we will make the very best of whatever length of season we are able to safely schedule in the coming months.

“With the information available to us at the moment a delay to the start of the professional cricket season until May 28 was unavoidable. This also allows us time to keep pace with a fast-moving situation and continue to plan for how a revised season might look. Critically, we can also remain as flexible and adaptable as possible, within the obvious restrictions we face.

“Securing the future of the game will be a primary focus as we plot a revised schedule with an emphasis on the most financially important forms of the game for the counties across international and domestic cricket.’’

The delay in the start of the season and the unknown extent of the delay to the commencement of the season will undoubtedly have an impact on the options for Daffodil Cricket Tours. The 5 day trip to Hove due to depart 7th May will not take place.

Further updates will be provided once our knowledge of the resumption of cricket is scheduled.

Daffodil Cricket Tours 2020

The schedule for the Balconiers “Daffodil Cricket Tours” in support of Glamorgan has been released for season 2020.

The Balconiers have been arranging stay-away trips since 1975, so the 2020 season is the 45th year of this well supported enterprise.

For full details please read the Letter_Schedule_Notes and use the Booking Form to secure a place on one or more trips. Responses by the 31st January 2020 please.

Sussex CCC at Hove in May, Nottinghamshire CCC at Trent Bridge in June, Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood in July, Nottinghamshire CCC at Colwyn Bay in August and Worcestershire CCC at New Road in September.

Hove, May 2019, Sussex v Glamorgan SCC Division 2