MIDDLESEX CRICKET ANNOUNCES 2020 SECOND ELEVEN FIXTURE SCHEDULE
Middlesex Cricket can today reveal the club’s Second Eleven fixture schedule for the 2020 season.
This year there are a some key changes to the Second Eleven playing conditions, not least of all that we will now see all Championship matches mirroring the format of First Eleven County Championship cricket – being played over four days, with 96 overs play scheduled for each day.
Also, this year all Second Eleven T20 matches will now be played on individual days in the calendar, rather than in previous years, when we’ve historically seen two ‘double-header’ matches being played against the same opponent, at the same venue, on the same day.
There will also be no Second Eleven Trophy from this season onwards, with the fifty-over competition being completely removed from the schedule! With more days of Second Eleven Championship and T20 cricket being played this summer, and with many counties’ squads losing players to the Hundred, this was a disappointing, yet somewhat inevitable outcome.
Middlesex Seconds will start their 2020 campaign with a four-day Championship encounter at home against London rivals Surrey at Radlett, on 20th April – the first of four back to back Championship games to start the season. Middlesex will play a total of eleven Championship matches over the summer, five at home and six away – the last of which will see their campaign finish with a clash against Essex starting on 14th September.
Middlesex’s Second Eleven T20 campaign kicks off with a home tie against Hampshire on 19th May, finishing just two and a half weeks later, on the 4th June, after ten consecutive clashes in the short format of the game.
In the absence of the Second Eleven Trophy Middlesex have arranged four fifty-over clashes in the schedule this year - all friendlies in July, starting against Essex on 13th July and finishing against the Cricket Club Conference on 27th July.
Whilst the majority of Middlesex’s Second Eleven matches have been played at Radlett in recent years, Cobden Hill will only host three games in 2020, due to the volume of First Eleven cricket being played at Radlett this summer. Uxbridge Cricket Club will now host seven home Second Eleven games in 2020, whilst Southgate will also host one Championship encounter.
Looking ahead to the Second Eleven 2020 fixture schedule, Alan Coleman, the club’s Fast-Bowling Coach and Second Eleven Coach, commented…
“While it is disappointing that the 50-over competition has come to an end, the changes to the Championship and T20 formats are ones that we as a county have been after for quite a while.
“The 3-day competition has provided some good cricket, but too often when two good sides come together the coaches and captains have to work hard to create competitive situations that put the players under pressure. This often comes in the form of early declarations, or accelerated 3rd innings of the match, which do not really replicate the pace and intensity of the First Class game. The move to 4-day cricket should help our Second Eleven players be even more prepared to perform in the first team in Championship cricket.
“Likewise, moving to one T20 match per day should see a rise in the intensity of the competition, and will put our players under pressure to perform in the game, without the safety net of another opportunity later in the day that the previous ‘double-header’ format allowed.
“With four 50-over friendlies to allow us to prepare for the First Team competition, our programme now stretches to 58 days of cricket, and as always our players will welcome the support from all of our members at these fixtures.”