The four games which will decide Yorkshire CCC’s County Championship destiny

YORKSHIRE have today found out their fixtures for the divisional stage of the County Championship.

Picture postcard: Yorkshire and Surrey in action during their Royal London Cup tie at Scarborough yesterday, which the visitors won by five wickets. Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com

They will play Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl (Aug 30-Sep 2), Somerset at Scarborough (Sep 5-8), Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley (Sep 12-15) and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge (Sep 21-24).

Yorkshire are in Division One after finishing second in Group Three to Lancashire, having won five, drawn four and lost one of their 10 group games this summer.

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Yorkshire will start bottom on 4.5 points as teams carry through half of the points that they accumulated in their two group fixtures against the side that they advanced with (in this case, Lancashire) and do not face again in the divisional stage.

Close call: Yorkshire's Matthew Waite dives for the ball during the defeat by Surrey. Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com

The side finishing top of Division One will be crowned champions and play off against the second-placed team for the Bob Willis Trophy.

Mark Arthur, the Yorkshire chief executive, said: “We’re very excited about the end-of-season finale. The County Championship is very important to Yorkshire County Cricket Club and, despite the vagaries of the points system, we know that if we win four games of cricket we’re going to win the Championship.”

Yorkshire are one of several counties to have expressed reservations about the points system.

Nottinghamshire, for instance, who won Group One by six points over Warwickshire, lost both of their games against them and thus carry forward only five points into Division One against their opponents’ 21.

“I think the points system is going to be reviewed at the end of the season,” said Arthur. “There are anomalies. There are other counties that have spoken out about it, as well as us.

“Obviously, you can’t refine anything halfway through a competition, but you learn and take that knowledge and experience forward.

“I do think there will be a different type of points system if we retain the conference system going forward.”