LANCASHIRE will play all five of their home matches at Emirates Old Trafford next season as fixtures for the 2021 County Championship Group Stage were confirmed today (Friday, December 17).

Earlier this year, the chairs of the First-Class Counties agreed that next summer would see the return of the County Championship in a group stage format, which will then be followed by a division stage before ending with the showpiece Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s in September.

Over the course of the summer, all counties will play seven home four-day fixtures.

For the group stage, which will run from April to July, the 18 First-Class Counties have been split into three seeded groups of six counties. Each county will play the other counties in their group both home and away - a total of 10 matches.

Lancashire will play in Group 3 alongside Kent, Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan and Sussex.

The Championship returns on Thursday, April 8 when Lancashire’s campaign will start with an away fixture against Sussex at The 1st Central County Ground. The Red Rose will then host Northamptonshire in their first home fixture at Emirates Old Trafford starting on Thursday, April 15.

The first red ball Roses Match of the summer will be played at Emirates Old Trafford starting on Thursday, May 27, with the reverse fixture at Scarborough on Sunday, July 11 set to conclude the group stage.

Following this, the top two counties in each group, at the end of the Group Stage, will progress to Division One, with the other counties moving into Divisions Two and Three, where they will each play a further four matches, with two at home.

The Division Stage will begin on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August with the final round of matches to begin on Tuesday, September 21. The winner of Division One will be crowned the 2021 County Championship winners.

To conclude the red ball campaign, the top two teams in Division One will then play for the Bob Willis Trophy in a five-day final from Monday, September 27.

Fixtures for the remaining domestic women’s and men’s white-ball competitions are set to be announced in early 2021.

Lancashire Cricket 2021 County Championship fixtures

Thursday 8 April, 2021 – Sussex v Lancashire, The 1st Central County Ground

Thursday 15 April, 2021 – Lancashire v Northamptonshire, Emirates Old Trafford

Thursday 22 April, 2021 - Kent vs Lancashire, Canterbury

Thursday 29 April, 2021 – Lancashire v Sussex, Emirates Old Trafford

Thursday 6 May, 2021 – Lancashire v Glamorgan, Emirates Old Trafford

Thursday 20 May, 2021 - Northamptonshire v Lancashire, The County Ground Northampton

Thursday 27 May, 2021 - Lancashire v Yorkshire, Emirates Old Trafford

Thursday 3 June, 2021 – Glamorgan v Lancashire, TBC

Sunday 4 July, 2021 – Lancashire v Kent, Emirates Old Trafford

Sunday 11 July, 2021 - Yorkshire v Lancashire, Scarborough