West Country derby the highlight of next year’s one-day cup draw

Royal London logoThe mouth-watering prospect of a West Country derby match between Somerset and Gloucestershire is the highlight of the draw for next year’s Royal London One Day Cup.

Somerset and old rivals Gloucestershire have been drawn in Group A along with this year’s inaugural Royal London champions Durham and LV County Champions Yorkshire.

Sky pundit and former England captain Nasser Hussain made the draw during the innings break at last Saturday’s Royal London Cup Final at Lord’s.

On paper, Somerset are in much the easier of the two groups and will certainly be hopeful of improving on this year’s showing and progressing through to next year’s quarter-final stages.

Of the eight teams in their group next year, Durham and Surrey are the only counties who Somerset encountered during this year’s competition. Somerset of course beat this year’s champions quite comfortably when they met at Taunton in July, thanks to that record sixth-wicket stand of 209 between James Hildreth and Lewis Gregory.

Deane TW

Their other opponents in 2015 will be Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Worcestershire, all teams who they should fancy their chances against, although Yorkshire will undoubtedly present a stiffer challenge.

The format for the 2015 tournament will remain the same as this season with each team playing eight group matches – four home and four away – leading to a knockout stage with quarter and semi-finals. The exact fixtures will be confirmed during November. It is expected that the group matches will again be played during July and August, although the exact scheduling will depend on the dates of the Ashes series also taking place next summer.

No doubt all Somerset fans will be hoping that the club’s tie with Gloucestershire is played at Taunton. A full house would be guaranteed and provide a huge boost to the club’s finances.

Somerset’s other opponents in this year’s group stages Kent, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire have all been drawn in next year’s Group B alongside Hampshire, Sussex, Essex and Glamorgan.

2015 Royal London One Day Cup draw:

Group A: Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Durham, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Worcestershire

Group B: Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Essex, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and Glamorgan