Essex join growing list of teams moving start date of Championship matches to weekend

The start of their four-day matches against Hampshire and Somerset at Chelmsford have been shifted so they now both start on a Sunday rather than a Monday

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Essex are the latest county to announce they have moved the start of some County Championship matches to the weekend.

The start of their four-day matches against Hampshire and Somerset at Chelmsford have been shifted so they now start on the weekend.

Their match against Hampshire will now begin on Sunday, June 16 and their game against Somerset will now start on Sunday, June 23.

They join a growing list of teams moving Championship matches so they have more days of first-class cricket on the weekend, something which The Cricketer previously predicted.

Surrey, Derbyshire and Gloucestershire have all moved the start of single home matches to the weekend, with Essex being the first to move more than one.

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These moves come after it was revealed that 16 of the 18 counties will see less weekend Championship cricket than 2018, 

Essex chief executive Derek Bowden previously told The Cricketer: “It is unfortunate, and we have heard from a few members.

“The ECB have had a challenging time with the fixtures as so many grounds are impacted by the World Cup, the Tests and women’s cricket next summer.

“It is a tight schedule, and grounds need preparatory work. It isn’t ideal. We will hopefully address it for 2020.”

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