The County Championship, currently known as the Specsavers County Championship is the domestic first-class cricket competition in England and Wales and is organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The first official County Championship tournament was held in the year 1890.
In the 1890 season, the competition involved just eight clubs: Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex and Yorkshire. Subsequently, it has been expanded to 18 clubs by the additions at various times of Derbyshire, Durham, Essex, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
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All matches prior to 1988 took place over just three days. From 1988 to 1992 some matches were played over four days, with each County playing six four-day and sixteen three-day games. From 1993 onwards, all matches have been played over four days.
In 2000, the championship adopted a two-divisional format with promotion and relegation each season. The bottom two teams from Division One get relegated to Division 2 while the top two teams qualify and take part in the County Championship Division One.
While Division One consists of eight teams, the County Champinship Division 2 has 10 teams. For the 2018 season, the ten teams in Division Two are Sussex, Kent, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Derby, Northamptonshire, Durham, Warwickshire, Middlesex and Gloucestershire.
Middlesex, who won the County Championship Division One title in 2016, they were relegated just a year later. Along with them, Warwickshire were the other team relegated to Division 2. Those two teams will be looking to immediately make their way back to Division One. Leicestershire, on the other hand, will be hoping to avoid claiming the Wooden Spoon for the second successive season.
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