All you need to know about the Championship – Division Stage


The LV= Insurance County Championship returns this week as the Divisional stage of the competition gets underway.

Essex start the new round of fixtures with a trip to Glamorgan on Monday 30 August, followed by games against Gloucestershire (05-08 September), Surrey (12-15 September) and Northamptonshire (21-24 September).

What is the Division Stage?

Having played ten games in the initial Group Stage, the 18 First-Class Counties have been split into three Divisions based on finishing positions in their respective groups.

In the Division Stage, each county will play four more County Championship matches to determine their final finishing position.

They will not play against the other team from their initial group, but will carry through half the number of points it scored in the two matches played against that team in the Group Stage. This could result in half points being carried forward.

So, for example, Lancashire and Yorkshire both progressed to Division One from Group Three and Lancashire carry forward 16.5 points – half of the 33 points they gained against Yorkshire thanks to a win and a draw. Yorkshire take through 4.5 points having gained nine bonus points in total from those two matches.

How were the divisions decided?

Teams finishing in the top two of each group in the Group Stage have progressed to Division One. Teams finishing third and fourth progressed to Division Two and those teams finishing fifth and sixth are in Division Three.

Which teams are in which division?

Division One
Warwickshire (21 points), Somerset (18.5), Lancashire (16.5), Hampshire (8.5), Nottinghamshire (5), Yorkshire (4.5)

Division Two
Essex (19 points), Northamptonshire (16), Surrey (13), Gloucestershire (12), Glamorgan (11.5), Durham (4)

Division Three
Worcestershire (18.5 points), Middlesex (13), Sussex (12), Leicestershire (11.5), Kent (11), Derbyshire (9.5)


When will the matches be played?

You can find all the fixtures for the 2021 LV= Insurance County Championship Division Stage here.

How can a team win the LV= Insurance County Championship?

The 2021 LV= Insurance 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.

How can I watch and listen to the LV= Insurance County Championship?

For the 2021 season, matches will be live streamed through the improved Essex Cricket Matchzone which is available through for all games, as well as our Essex Cricket TV YouTube channel during home fixtures.

Every ball of the men’s domestic season will be broadcast on BBC Essex and the BBC Sport website.

You’ll be able to listen to the BBC commentary over the top of the live stream videos on our live stream.