Staffordshire’s 2024 National Counties Cricket Association fixtures

Staffordshire County Cricket Club celebrate winning the NCCA Twenty20 Cup

Staffordshire’s defence of their NCCA Twenty20 Cup title will take on a different look next season.

Staffs won the short-format competition for the first time in 2023 by seeing off Cornwall in the showpiece on finals day at Tring Park.

The National Counties Cricket Association have announced their fixtures for next summer – and have tweaked the way the T20 Cup will be played.

In previous years, there have been four groups of five, with the winners of each section progressing to finals day.

However, this has been altered for the 2024 campaign.

There will now be five groups of four, with the group winners, group runners-up and two best third-placed finishers advancing to a new Super 12s stage.

Those 12 teams will be split into four groups of three, all playing each other on a scheduled day.

The table-toppers in those sections will then make up the four counties contesting finals day.

Staffordshire’s initial group matches take place in the space of just eight days.

‘Peter Wilshaw delivered at the most crucial times in Staffordshire’s history’

They kick off their campaign on Sunday, April 28 when they host Cheshire in their first double header of the season.

On Sunday, May 5 they have home advantage against Northumberland before heading up to Cumbria the following day to wrap up their group games.

If they progress, the Super 12s will be held on Sunday, May 19, before finals day is staged seven days’ later.

‘Trophy mission’

Staffordshire head coach Andy Carr and skipper James Kettleborough will be looking for an improved performance in the 50-over format next year after Staffs failed to advance from the group stage.

The Knockout Trophy sees the make-up of the groups altered slightly and Staffs start off with a long trip to Suffolk on Sunday, May 12.

They then host Norfolk on Sunday, June 2, visit Herefordshire the following week and then entertain Shropshire on Sunday, June 23.

Staffs’ matches in Division One East of the Championship format start in July.

Staffordshire finished as divisional runners-up in 2023 and are eyeing up going one better next summer after missing out on top spot to Buckinghamshire by just four points.

Newly-promoted Bedfordshire are the visitors to Staffordshire to commence the three-day games between Sunday, July 7 and Tuesday, July 9.

Staffs head to the seaside for the next assignment as they play Lincolnshire at Cleethorpes, starting on Sunday, July 28.

‘Tough finish’

A home encounter against Suffolk is on the agenda on Sunday, August 11, with the final encounter starting on Sunday, August 18 when Staffordshire visit reigning NCCA champions Buckinghamshire.

Venues for matches will be confirmed at a later date.

The Showcase Game continue in 2024 – as NCCA sides take on first-class opponents.

Staffordshire’s opponents have yet to be announced, but the match is scheduled for Sunday, July 21.

Sunday, April 28: Staffordshire v Cheshire.
Sunday, May 5: Staffordshire v Northumberland.
Monday, May 6: Cumbria v Staffordshire.
Sunday, May 19: Super 12s.
Sunday, May 26: T20 finals day.
Monday, May 27: Reserve day.

Sunday, May 12: Suffolk v Staffordshire.
Sun, June 2: Staffordshire v Norfolk.
Sunday, June 9: Herefordshire v Staffordshire.
Sun, June 23: Staffordshire v Shropshire.
Sunday, June 30: Quarter-finals.
Sunday, August 4: Semi-finals.
Monday, August 5: Semi-final reserve day.
Sunday, August 25: Final.
Monday, August 26: Final reserve day.

Sunday, July 7 to Tuesday, July 9: Staffordshire v Bedfordshire.
Sun, July 28 to Tuesday, July 30: Lincolnshire v Staffordshire (Cleethorpes).
Sunday, August 11 to Tuesday, August 13: Staffordshire v Suffolk.
Sun, August 18 to Tuesday, August 20: Bucks v Staffordshire (High Wycombe).
Sunday, September 1 to Wednesday, September 4: Championship final.

Sunday, July 21: Opponents to be confirmed.

Main picture: Staffordshire celebrate winning the NCCA Twenty20 Cup in 2023.