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Guide to county cricket

The 18 first-class counties will this summer compete in three separate competitions.

They will again be joined in the Clydesdale Bank 40 by the ECB Unicorns, Scotland and the Netherlands.

Teams will be allowed to field one overseas player in each LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 match, and two overseas players in each Friends Provident t20 fixture.

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

LV= County Championship - 18 clubs split into two divisions of nine.

All matches are played over four days and are two innings per side, with teams playing each other home and away.

Like in 2010, use of the heavy roller will again be banned after a match commences.

A team is awarded 16 points for a win, with each side earning eight points for a tie and three each for a drawn match.

If the scores are level in a drawn match, the side batting in the fourth innings will score eight points with the opposing side picking up three points.

Chris Read with the County Championship trophy
Chris Read led Nottinghamshire to the 2010 County Championship title

Teams can also earn bonus points, regardless of the result, for performances in the first 110 overs of each first innings.

Bonus points are awarded as follows:

Batting

200 - 249 runs: 1 point
250 - 299 runs: 2 points
300 - 349 runs: 3 points
350 - 399 runs: 4 points
400 runs or over: 5 points

Bowling

3 to 5 wickets taken: 1 point
6 to 8 wickets taken: 2 points
9 to 10 wickets taken: 3 points

If a match is abandoned without a ball being bowled, then each side is awarded three points.

Teams can also be deducted points for not bowling their overs at the required rate (16 overs per hour).

For each over below the required rate, teams will be deducted one point from their Championship total - one point for one over, two points for two overs, etc.

The team with the most points in Division One at the end of the season will win the County Championship, with teams level on points being separated by number of wins.

Promotion and relegation: The bottom two teams in Division One are relegated and replaced by the top two teams in Division Two.

INTERNET LINK: Full County Championship regulations (ecb.co.uk)

THE FRIENDS LIFE t20

The Friends Life t20 - 18-team tournament with matches played over 20 overs per side.

The 18 counties are split into two regional groups of nine teams and play each other home and away.

Teams are awarded two points for a win with both sides being awarded one point for a tied game or a no result. In the group stages, a tied game is deemed to be when both sides have the same score, regardless of the number of wickets lost.

Hampshire celebrate winning the 2010 FP t20
Hampshire won the 2010 FP t20, beating Somerset in the final

The top four teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The team finishing first in each group will host the side finishing fourth in the opposite group, with the team finishing second in each group receiving a home draw against the side finishing third in the opposite group.

Should two teams finish level on points then they will be separated according to which team achieved most points in the matches played between them, and if they are still equal the team with the higher net run rate in the group matches will be placed higher.

The two semi-finals and the final will take place at Edgbaston on 27 August.

In the event of a tie in the knockout stages, the team having lost fewer wickets shall be declared the winner. If both teams have lost the same number of wickets, then the team who had the higher score after six overs shall be declared the winner.

In all matches, no bowler may bowl more than one fifth of the overs in an innings.

Fielding restrictions also apply for a six-over Powerplay period at the beginning of each innings.

In a rain-interrupted match, the number of overs available to each side may be reduced and the Duckworth/Lewis method used to determine the result.

INTERNET LINK: Full Friends Life t20 rules & regulations (ecb.co.uk)

CLYDESDALE BANK 40

Clydesdale Bank 40 - 18 counties plus the ECB Unicorns, Scotland and the Netherlands split into three divisions of seven.

Matches will be played over 40 overs per side, with each team playing the other teams in its group home and away.

Imran Tahir (l) and Ian Bell
Imran Tahir (l) and Ian Bell helped Warwickshire win the 2010 CB40

Teams are awarded two points for a win, with both sides being awarded one point for a tied game or a no result. In the group stages, a tied game is deemed to be when both sides have the same score, regardless of the number of wickets lost.

The three group winners and the best second-placed side will qualify for the semi-finals, with the two best first-placed sides receiving a home draw. The winners of the two semi-finals will meet in the final at Lord's on 17 September.

In the event of a tie in the semi-finals or final, the team having lost fewer wickets shall be declared the winner. If both teams have lost the same number of wickets, then the team who had the higher score after 10 overs shall be declared the winner.

In all matches, no bowler may bowl more than one fifth of the overs in an innings.

Fielding restrictions apply for 16 Powerplay overs per innings. The first block of eight Powerplay overs shall be at the start of each innings. There will then be two further blocks of four Powerplay overs, one to be taken at the discretion of the fielding captain and the other at the discretion of the batsmen at the wicket.

In a rain-interrupted match, the number of overs available to each side may be reduced and the Duckworth/Lewis method used to determine the result.

INTERNET LINK: Full Clydesdale Bank 40 rules and regulations (ecb.co.uk)



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see also
ECB releases 2011 county fixtures
14 Dec 10 |  Counties
Counties learn 2011 CB40 groups
02 Nov 10 |  Counties


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