By Paul Jones
Mark Wallace insists he is excited by Glamorgan’s newly announced fixture list for a season he believes will be short but sweet.
The county’s director of cricket says his players are desperate to start a campaign that should have begun in April, but will now get going on August 1.
The Bob Willis Trophy will commence next week and conclude with a five-day Lord’s final as the 2020 county cricket season finally gets underway after the coronavirus pandemic.
The ECB announced earlier this month that this summer’s shortened domestic season would see the 18 counties compete in a first-class red-ball tournament named after former England fast bowler and Sky Sports analyst Willis, who passed away in December at the age of 70.
The competition will see clubs split into three regional groups of six, with counties playing the other sides in their group once and the top two points scorers across the groups advancing to the final.
Glamorgan’s fixtures have now been announced with the club beginning their campaign against Somerset in Taunton on Saturday, 1st August.
They are in a six-team Central Group along with local rivals Somerset and Gloucestershire, as well as Worcestershire, Northants and Warwickshire.
“There’s a different look to the County Championship this season with us playing regionally but it’s also very exciting,” said Wallace.
“We’re in a tough group and we’ll be playing against some tough first Division opposition but none of those teams will be new to us – we play them in T20 and the 2nd XI competition is set up regionally so we’ll be well prepared for what we’re coming up against.
“We’ve got Somerset first up and that’s a big game for us. They are one of the strongest teams in Division One so it’s a challenging start but the opportunity to play any sort of cricket this year is brilliant.”
Following their away trip to Somerset, Glamorgan face Worcestershire at Blackfinch New Road (8th August) before playing their first home match against Gloucestershire on Saturday, 15th August.
Glamorgan then make the trip to The County Ground to play Northants (22nd August) and finish their group stage matches at Sophia Gardens two weeks later against Warwickshire.
Next month the fixtures for the Vitality Blast will be confirmed, with the tournament set to start on 27th August – with both competitions set to be played behind closed doors.
Wallace added: “Although at this moment our members and supporters won’t be able to see us in action at Sophia Gardens when we play two big games against Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, they will be able to watch the team via our live stream.”