Bob Willis Trophy 2020: England Cricket Board has named the first-class competition after former England seamer who died in December.
England’s first-class counties will lock horns against each other for the Bob Willis Trophy in what is going to be a truncated season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is said that it was former England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham’s idea to name the tournament after former England seamer Bob Willis.
While it was earlier announced that county cricket will resume from August 1, final fixtures will be announced at a later date this month.
According to ESPNcrincinfo, 18 county teams will be divided into three groups as each team will play five matches. While the matches will be played over four days, the final one at Lord’s will be a five-day encounter.
ECB confirm that all 18 counties have agreed (some reluctantly) to play first-class cricket for the officially named Bob Willis Trophy in August
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) July 10, 2020
Bob Willis Trophy 2020
Other than the first-class format, English players will also indulge in a truncated season of the Vitality T20 Blast which is all but likely to begin from August 27.
“The commitment of the chairs and chief executives of the first-class counties to work together to achieve that ambition has been resolute and we will remain in close discussion as we continue to assess risk factors that need to be mitigated in order to ensure the safety and welfare of their players, coaches and staff.
“We are all delighted that agreement has been reached across the game and we are now in a position to look forward to and prepare for a new men’s domestic season starting on 1 August,” ECB managing director of county cricket Neil Snowball said in a statement.
“It would be great and wonderful recognition for Bob, who was a champion of the game in every aspect. He may have come across as a bit of a curmudgeon on the TV, and he cultivated that persona quite beautifully, actually. But there was nobody more delighted if England did well or if players performed well.
“Bob was always championing a truncated county season with a final involved in it as well. Ironically, it might fit both poignantly and be in the right way he would have wanted. What a great gesture it would be,” Lancashire director of cricket Paul Allott (Willis’ close friend) told the ECB Reporters Network.