Worcestershire CCC Academy will be participating in restructured ECB 50 over and three-day competitions this summer.
The Royal London County Cup and Specsavers County Championship will now be competed for at Under-18 level compared to Under-17s in the past.
It allows the County’s senior Academy players to take part whereas before they were restricted to three over-age players when it was an Under-17s competition.
Worcestershire will face five teams in Group 2A in the 50 over and three-day formats in Warwickshire Cricket Board, Leicestershire-Rutland Cricket Board, Northamptonshire Cricket Board, Oxfordshire Cricket Board and Staffordshire Cricket.
The 50 over competition will be staged during the first part of the summer followed by the three-day matches from late July through to the end of August.
Worcestershire Academy Coach, Elliot Wilson, said: “There has been a lot of work done in the pathway-academy development space during the past two years over and above what normally goes on.
“One of the things we’ve looked at is the competition structure and phase one of that competition structure is to change the ECB Under-17 Competition to an ECB Under-18 Competition which is good.
“We’d previously been able to play three over-age players but it now almost becomes the academy side.
“It means the senior players can play and it also means we have less of a need to run even more cricket for slightly older players because, if they are not playing in the Under-18s, they will probably be playing in the second team.
“That competition is now a one-day and a three-day competition with groups of six rather than five teams.
“We have five one-day games and, if you win your group, you have a semi-final and then a final.
“We have five three-day games which are played the last week of July and all through August, five weeks of back to back three-day games which is quite exciting.”
Wilson confirmed that a new Worcestershire side have been formed to bridge the gap from Under-15 to Under-18 level.
He said: “With the programme now going Under-15s and then jumping to Under-18s, it leaves the Under-18 squad covering three year groups so we’ve introduced a new side for 2020 which is our sub Academy side.
“We will look to give a real good quality match programme to our very best Under-15s and our Under-16s that aren’t quite getting into the Under-18 side.
“With there being a three gap, they could potentially have a year where they don’t play as much as we want them to so the sub Academy side will provide a challenge for our very best Under-15s and maybe even the odd Under-14 player in two-day or 50 over cricket.”
ROYAL LONDON COUNTY CUP
May 27 – Northamptonshire – HOME
June 28 – Oxfordshire – AWAY
July 8 – Leicestershire-Rutland – AWAY
July 12 – Staffordshire – HOME
July 15 – Warwickshire – AWAY
SPECSAVERS COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
July 28, 29, 30 – Oxfordshire – AWAY
August 4, 5, 6 – Northamptonshire – HOME
August 11, 12, 13 – Leicestershire-Rutland – AWAY
August 18, 19, 20 – Staffordshire – HOME
August 25, 26, 27, – Warwickshire – AWAY