County Championship to run alongside The Ashes in 2023

Sam Curran of Surrey bats during day three of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Surrey and Somerset at The Kia Oval - Getty Images
Sam Curran of Surrey bats during day three of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Surrey and Somerset at The Kia Oval - Getty Images

In a domestic schedule only mildly tweaked for 2023, Championship cricket will be played alongside the Ashes and the window for the Hundred has been shortened by five days.

Despite much talk over the future of men’s domestic cricket due to the ECB’s high-performance review, significant change will not come until 2024. Instead, the season will follow a similar pattern to 2022, with each team playing 14 Championship and 14 Blast matches each.

The women’s domestic schedule has expanded significantly, with the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy doubling to 14 matches for each of the eight regional teams. The T20 Charlotte Edwards Cup has one extra match per team but, in a significant tweak, there are now 20 double headers with Vitality Blast fixtures. The women’s domestic season begins on 22 April.

The men’s season begins on 6 April, Easter weekend, with seven rounds of County Championship action (all Thursday to Sunday) completed before the Vitality Blast begins on 20 May.

After a block of T20, the Championship then returns on 11 June, just before the Ashes begin at Edgbaston on 16 June. A total of five Championship rounds take place during June and July, when the Ashes take place, meaning England should have options if a player loses form or fitness. The Blast concludes with finals day on an Ashes rest weekend, 15 July.

The Hundred will begin on August 1, the day after the Ashes end, and be wrapped up by August 27. The window for the tournament in its first two years was 32 days, but a slight shortening was always expected this year, given England men’s international schedule. A permanent shortening does seem increasingly likely, though. Fixtures for the Hundred will be announced at a later date.

Again, the One-Day Cup – which will be looking for a new sponsor after Royal London moved on from cricket – takes place underneath the Hundred, before the County Championship returns for a four-round finale in its now customary September slot. The season will end on September 29.