27th Sep, 2020

Pears begin with Gloucestershire trip as first-class cricket resumes

Rob George 29th Jul, 2020

WORCESTERSHIRE CCC will play three home four-day matches in their bid to lift the Bob Willis Trophy, including a mouth-watering clash with local rivals Warwickshire when county cricket returns this weekend.

The Pears will face Glamorgan, Warwickshire and Somerset at Blackfinch New Road in the regionalised competition which has been split into three groups. In addition, Worcestershire CCC will face away matches against Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.

Each county 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.

Because of the odd number of fixtures to be played in each group, some counties will only stage two home games. However, Worcestershire will entertain Glamorgan, starting on August 8, Warwickshire from August 22 and Somerset beginning on September 6.

Worcestershire will travel to face Gloucestershire from August 1 and Northamptonshire starting on August 15.

The Bob Willis Trophy will hold first-class status, but is a separate competition from the County Championship.

The full schedule for the Vitality Blast, which gets underway on August 27, will be revealed next month.

* Lancashire CCC and Leicestershire CCC will play their opening match of the Bob Willis Trophy at New Road from Saturday (August 1).

Leicestershire met all protocols to safely stage the match at the Fischer County Ground, however with the city of Leicester in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was taken to schedule the match at a neutral venue.

Whilst Lancashire will be the nominal hosts for the fixture, the club are unable to mobilise an outground to ensure a return to domestic competition under the current Government guidance, whilst also delivering behind-closed-doors international cricket at Emirates Old Trafford in a bio-secure environment.

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