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.

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 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. The 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

Participating teams and formatEdit

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 LeagueEdit

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.[2]

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.[3]

National LeagueEdit

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'.[4] 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.[5][6] A new team, the Unicorns cricket team, was formed of uncontracted county players competing unpaid, brought the number of teams to 21.[6] These three extra teams would not go on to feature in the Royal London One-Day Cup.


Season Winner Runner-up
2014 Durham Warwickshire Bears
2015 Gloucestershire Surrey
2016 Warwickshire Bears Surrey
2017 Nottinghamshire Outlaws Surrey
2018 Hampshire Kent Spitfires
2019 Somerset Hampshire
2020 Cancelled[a]


  1. ^ The 2020 season was severely disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having already agreed to start the season in August, on 7 July 2020, the majority of counties voted to play first-class and Twenty20 cricket,[7] with the Royal London One-Day Cup being cancelled.[8]


  1. ^ "Counties vote to play red and white ball cricket when season starts on 1 August". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  2. ^ Benson and Hedges Cricket Year September 1990 to September 1991 (p. 325)
  3. ^ Warwickshire v Somerset July 1997 – Electronic Telegraph
  4. ^ Harris, Nick (6 March 1999). "Cricket: Nicknames for the new era". The Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Ireland decline ECB's 40-over invite". Cricinfo blogs. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  6. ^ a b Geoffrey, Dean; Tennant, Ivo; Kidd, Patrick (2 May 2010). "Dispute overshadows first sighting of Unicorns". The Times (69937). London. p. 61.
  7. ^ "Counties vote to play red and white ball cricket when season starts on 1 August". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Counties could be offered opt-out as Hampshire express red-ball reservations". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 July 2020.