SHROPSHIRE County Cricket Club’s fixtures for the 2021 season have been issued by the National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA).

No NCCA competitive matches were played during the 2020 campaign owing to Covid-19, with Shropshire organising a number of friendly games during August and September.

The NCCA are now planning ahead for next season in the hope that it will be possible to play a full season of cricket.

Shropshire have received their 2021 fixture list, which includes four three-day NCCA Championship matches, as well as group games in both the NCCA Twenty20 Cup and 50-over NCCA Trophy competition.

The Championship fixtures are a repeat of what they would have been during 2020 – home matches against Herefordshire and Cornwall, with trips to Wales and Devon.

Next season is scheduled to start for Shropshire with four group games in the Twenty20 Cup, which will see the county host Cumbria and Cheshire, and travel to face Staffordshire – the first match of the season on April 18 – and Northumberland.

Shropshire have been paired with the same four teams in the group stage of the NCCA Trophy, with the fixtures reversed so that Shropshire will have home advantage against Northumberland and Staffordshire, as well as having 50-over matches away at Cheshire and Cumbria.

Shropshire CCC secretary Richard Lees said: “It is the National Counties Cricket Association’s genuine desire to play all three competitions during the 2021 season as long as circumstances allow, and on the basis of cricket being permissible.

“The Championship fixtures will be the same as they would have been during the 2020 season.

“With the National Counties clubs being geographically placed the way they are, there will inevitably be some longer trips in both the T20 Cup and NCCA Trophy, which is the case for ourselves with home and away matches against both Northumberland and Cumbria.

“But we are very keen to start playing competitive cricket once again and try and return to as close to normality as is possible after the events of this year.”

Shropshire will now look to finalise venues around the county for their 2021 home matches with Oswestry and Whitchurch yet again up for consideration having hosted previous matches.