By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
COMPETITIVE county cricket will return to the Exeter County Ground this summer when Devon play Bedfordshire there in the National Counties KO Cup.
Exeter was not awarded a one-day or three-day game in 2021 – and like every other ground in the county was out of commission for most of the 2020 season.
The last county fixture of any kind on the County Ground was back in 2019 when Devon lost to Cornwall by 86 runs.
Devon’s 2022 fixture list – published today – is divided into four distinct phases: warm-ups, Twenty20 festival days, 50-over cup games and three-day Championship matches.
The first three Sundays in April have been set aside for warm-up games against University of Exeter, Somerset 2nd XI and Gloucester 2nd XI.
The entire Twenty20 programme – including finals day at Tring CC in Hertfordshire – has been squeezed into a four-week window in April and May.
Devon open their Twenty20 pool programme against Cornwall at Werrington on April 24 then play Wiltshire at Plymouth (May 1), Dorset at North Perrott (May 2) and Herefordshire at North Devon (May 8). May 22 is finals day for the four pool winners.
Phase two, the KO Cup qualifying rounds, gets up and running against Berkshire at Henley on May 29. Devon are in the same group as Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cornwall, all of whom are bidding to reach the last eight. If Devon reach the quarter or semi-finals and land a home draw they will play their games at Sidmouth.
The 50-over competition final is booked for the Getty Ground at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire on August 28.
Three-day cricket in Western Division Two commences against Wales at Abergavenny on July 3. The other counties in Devon’s division are Cornwall, Shropshire and Wiltshire.
A one-day festival – the South West Ten10 tournament – has been pencilled in for August 29 at Potterne CC near Devizes in Wiltshire.
The revival of Devon CCC’s development programme means a return to the fixture list of games for the Devon Lions,
Three one-day games have been booked, against Dorset, Wiltshire and Warwickshire, together with a three-day match against Cornwall at a venue to be decided.
Devon’s full fixture list is:
April: 3 – University of Exeter (venue TBC); 10 – Somerset 2nd XI (Sidmouth), 17 – Gloucestershire 2nd XI (Exeter); 24 – Cornwall, T20 (Werrington).
May: 1 – Wiltshire, T20 (Plymouth); 2 – Dorset, T20 (North Perrott), 8 – Herefordshire (North Devon); May 15 – Lions v Dorset, Fr (North Devon CC); 22 – T20 Finals Day (Tring CC); 29 – Berkshire, KO (Henley), 31 – Lions v Wiltshire, Fr (away).
June: 5 – Bedfordshire, KO (Exeter); 12 – Hertfordshire, KO (Hertford CC); 26 – Cornwall, KO (Sidmouth).
July: 3-5 – Wales MC, Champ (Abergavenny); 10-12 – Cornwall, Champ (TBC); 17 – KO quarter-final (Sidmouth); 31-Aug 2 – Lions v Cornwall, Fr (TBC).
August: 7 – KO semi-final (Sidmouth); 14-16 Shropshire, Champ (Bridgnorth); 21-23 Wiltshire, Champ (Sidmouth); 28 – KO final (Wormsley); 29 – SW T10 (Potterne).