Royal London One-Day Cup

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Royal London One-Day Cup
Royal London One-Day Cup logo.svg
Royal London One-Day Cup logo
CountriesEngland England
Wales Wales
FormatLimited overs cricket
First edition2014
Tournament formatGroup stage and knockout
Number of teams18
Current championSomerset (4th title)
2019 Royal London One-Day Cup

The Royal London One-Day Cup is a fifty-over limited overs cricket competition for the England and Wales first-class counties. It began in 2014 as a replacement for the ECB 40 tournament that ran from 2010 to 2013. The number of overs per innings has been increased to 50 to bring the competition in line with One-Day Internationals.

The competition starts with two groups of nine teams, played as a round-robin, from which the top three teams from each group progress to the knock out stage of the competition. Groups are organised geographically with a North and a South group.

Participating teams and format[edit]

The competition contains two groups of nine organised geographically with a North group and a South group. As of 2017, the top three teams in each group progress to the knock-out stage of the competition with the final held at Trent Bridge . Trent Bridge will host its first final in 2020 after the finals location being moved there from Lord's. The participating teams are the 18 England and Wales first-class counties.


The Royal London One-Day Cup is the latest in a line of limited over competitions in county cricket.

Sunday League[edit]

The John Player Special League was launched in 1969, as the second one-day competition in England and Wales alongside the Gillette Cup (launched in 1963). The 17 counties of the time played each other in a league format on Sunday afternoons throughout the season. These matches were concise enough to be shown on television, with BBC2 broadcasting one match each week in full until the 1980s, and then as part of the Sunday Grandstand multi-sport programme. For close finishes for the title, cameras appeared at the grounds where the contenders for the title were competing and the trophy presentation to the victorious team would be on film.

Refuge Assurance replaced John Player Special as the sponsor of the competition in 1987 and then in 1988 started an end-of-season play-off competition known as the Refuge Assurance Cup. The top four teams of the season qualified for this competition, with the first-placed team playing the fourth and the second-placed team playing the third, and the winners of these matches meeting in a final at a neutral venue. This competition lasted until 1991.

On Friday 5 July 1991, Somerset played Lancashire at Taunton in the first Sunday League match not to be played on a Sunday.[1]

The Sunday League was not sponsored in 1992, the year Durham made its debut, but in 1993 AXA Equity and Law became the sponsor. The matches this season were 50 overs per innings. The first round of matches that took place on 9 May 1993 were the first official matches in England to be played in coloured clothing and with a white ball. The following season the competition reverted to 40 overs per innings. On Wednesday 23 July 1997 Warwickshire played Somerset at Edgbaston in the first competitive county game to be played under floodlights.[2]

National League[edit]

The National League was launched in 1999 with the 18 first-class counties split into two divisions with three teams promoted and relegated from each. The matches were played over 45 overs and the competition was sponsored by Norwich Union. Matches were spread over the week rather than Sundays only.

The counties incorporated nicknames into their official names for the National League. For example, Kent became the 'Spitfires', Middlesex the 'Crusaders' and Lancashire the 'Lightning'.[3] Starting the following season the Scotland Saltires took part in the League until 2005.

In 2006, the National League was renamed the NatWest Pro40 and was played in the later part of the season with the teams playing each other once. Also, two teams instead of three were promoted to the first division and two relegated to the second division. A third promotion/relegation spot is determined in a play-off game between the team third from top in the second division and third from bottom team in the first. The format continued until 2009.


The ECB40, known variously as the Clydesdale Bank 40 and Yorkshire Bank 40 (YB40), was a forty-over limited overs cricket competition for the English first-class counties. It began in the 2010 English cricket season, incorporating the league element of the Pro40 and the knockout stages of the Friends Provident Trophy, itself a successor to the Gillette Cup.

Ireland and Scotland were asked to compete, following their entry in the Friends Provident Trophy, but Ireland declined in order to concentrate on their growing international commitments; The Netherlands took their place.[4][5] A new team, the Unicorns cricket team, was formed of uncontracted county players competing unpaid, brought the number of teams to 21.[5] These three extra teams would not go on to feature in the Royal London One-Day Cup.


See also: List of the competitive honours won by county cricket clubs in England and Wales

John Player's County League
1969 Lancashire
John Player League
1970 Lancashire
1971 Worcestershire
1972 Kent
1973 Kent
1974 Leicestershire
1975 Hampshire
1976 Kent
1977 Leicestershire
1978 Hampshire
1979 Somerset
1980 Warwickshire
1981 Essex
1982 Sussex
1983 Yorkshire
John Player Special League
1984 Essex
1985 Essex
1986 Hampshire
Refuge Assurance League Refuge Assurance Cup
1987 Worcestershire
1988 Worcestershire 1988 Lancashire
1989 Lancashire 1989 Essex
1990 Derbyshire 1990 Middlesex
1991 Nottinghamshire 1991 Worcestershire
Sunday League
1992 Middlesex
AXA Equity & Law League
1993 Glamorgan
1994 Warwickshire
1995 Kent
1996 Surrey
AXA Life League
1997 Warwickshire
AXA League
1998 Lancashire
CGU National League Relegated 2nd Division Champions Promoted
1999 Lancashire Warwickshire, Hampshire, Essex Sussex Somerset, Northamptonshire
Norwich Union National League
2000 Gloucestershire Worcestershire, Lancashire, Sussex Surrey Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire
Norwich Union League
2001 Kent Gloucestershire, Surrey, Northamptonshire Glamorgan Durham, Worcestershire
2002 Glamorgan Somerset, Durham, Nottinghamshire Gloucestershire Surrey, Essex
National League
2003 Surrey Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire Lancashire Northamptonshire, Hampshire
totesport League
2004 Glamorgan Warwickshire, Kent, Surrey Middlesex Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire
2005 Essex Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Hampshire Sussex Durham, Warwickshire
NatWest Pro40
2006 Essex Glamorgan, Durham, Middlesex Gloucestershire Worcestershire, Hampshire[6]
2007 Worcestershire Warwickshire, Essex, Northamptonshire Durham Somerset, Middlesex[7]
2008 Sussex Middlesex, Lancashire Essex Yorkshire
2009 Sussex Not applicable Warwickshire Not applicable
Clydesdale Bank 40
2010 Warwickshire Bears
2011 Surrey Lions
2012 Hampshire Royals
Yorkshire Bank 40
2013 Nottinghamshire Outlaws
Royal London One-day Cup
2014 Durham
2015 Gloucestershire
2016 Warwickshire Bears
2017 Nottinghamshire Outlaws
2018 Hampshire
2019 Somerset


  1. ^ Benson and Hedges Cricket Year September 1990 to September 1991 (p. 325)
  2. ^ Warwickshire v Somerset July 1997 – Electronic Telegraph
  3. ^ Harris, Nick (6 March 1999). "Cricket: Nicknames for the new era". The Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Ireland decline ECB's 40-over invite". Cricinfo blogs. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b Geoffrey, Dean; Tennant, Ivo; Kidd, Patrick (2 May 2010). "Dispute overshadows first sighting of Unicorns". The Times (69937). London. p. 61.
  6. ^ Hampshire beat Glamorgan in Play-Off match
  7. ^ Middlesex beat Northamptonshire in Play-Off match