The previous two seasons have been played under a different structure during the pandemic, with the introduction of the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 and a three-group seeded system used for the 2021 campaign.
This return to two divisions will see the Championship played under the conditions originally agreed by the counties in 2018, with 10 teams playing in Division One and eight teams in Division Two – with a two-up, two-down promotion and relegation system.
Each county will be placed into the division they would have been set to compete in had the 2020 County Championship taken place, with Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire having won promotion to Division One and Nottinghamshire having been relegated to Division Two.
The return to two divisions, where each team will play 14 matches, was voted through by the first-class counties this week.
This week’s vote also considered the option to play one further year of the seeded group structure that was staged this summer, which saw three groups of six, with the top two teams in each group moving into a six-team division to decide the champions. Yorkshire qualified for that stage but lost three of four games as Warwickshire won the title. Although there was support from counties to use the 2022 season as a way to step back to a two-divisional structure, there was not the two-thirds majority that was required.
Teams for the 2022 Division One: Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire.
Teams for the 2022 Division Two: Derbyshire, Durham, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Worcestershire.