First-Class Counties Lancashire CCC and Leicestershire CCC will play their opening match of the Bob Willis Trophy at Worcestershire CCC.
Lancashire will be regarded as the home team for the fixture, which is scheduled to begin on Saturday 1 August.
Leicestershire met all protocols to safely stage the match at the Fischer County Ground, however with the city of Leicester in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision was taken to schedule the match at a neutral venue.
Whilst Lancashire will be the nominal hosts for the fixture, the club are unable to mobilise an outground at this notice to ensure a Stage 3 return to domestic competition under the current Government guidance, whilst also delivering behind-closed-doors international cricket at Emirates Old Trafford in a bio-secure environment.
Leicestershire will retain three home Bob Willis Trophy matches in Leicester with their match against Durham (August 15) rescheduled from Emirates Riverside to the Fischer County Ground.
Daniel Gidney, Lancashire CEO, said: “I’d like to thank Fanos Hira and the team at Worcestershire County Cricket Club to agree to host our opening fixture in the Bob Willis Trophy and mobilise in literally just a few days. Their experience at hosting Pakistan for quarantine and training at Worcestershire at effectively Stage 4 Covid Guidelines and with the hotel on site has given us considerable confidence.
“Player welfare is always at the forefront of our minds and with medical advice not to travel or stay in Leicester, this is the best decision for cricket. The Professional Game Group has worked tirelessly to get a meaningful First Class competition away with a Lord’s final to crown the winners of the Bob Willis Trophy that players are really excited about and I am delighted that we have found a solution to get this game on.”