This season’s LV County Championship is now well under way and has proved as exciting as ever. Having begun life way back in 1890, the County Championship is steeped in history and is one of the most popular cricketing events of the season.
Bookmaker around the UK, currently have Yorkshire as their 7/4 favourites to win the Division One title in 2014. Hot on the heels of the market leaders are Nottinghamshire, who are available to back at the 5/2 mark. There is then a jump in the betting market to Somerset and Warwickshire at 5/1 and if the bookies are to be believed, the race for the County Championship definitely rests between these four sides.
As far as the Division Two market is concerned, Worcestershire are the 1/20 favourites to take the crown and that Championship race is now effectively over.
Let’s have a more in depth look at the teams in the hunt for the top County Championship title and which of them has the strongest claims of being victorious.
Having finished as runners-up in last season’s tournament, Yorkshire were desperate to win a domestic trophy in 2014. The signing for Aaron Finch for their t20 matches and also to fill in during some of the county games, looks like it may have given Yorkshire the boost they needed to move up a level this season.
Yorkshire have a total of 31 County Championships to their credit and are one of the most successful sides in English cricketing history. With a captain like Andrew Gale at the helm, it would be no surprise to see this talented group of players add a 32nd title this season.
Nottinghamshire’s recent results in the LV County Championship have been extremely positive and although their One Day performances have been less impressive, they have shown just what a good side they are in this league format.
Currently sitting in second position in the Division One table behind Yorkshire, Nottingham have been very popular in the betting market for this competition and are still being supported at their present odds of 5/2. Founded in 1841, Nottinghamshire have tasted limited success in recent years but did win the County Championship in 2010 and are hot on the heels of favourites Yorkshire, who they could well push all the way to the end of the campaign.
Although Somerset are yet to win a County Championship, their form during the current campaign would suggest they aren’t far away from righting that wrong. At time of writing, Somerset are just sixteen points behind the league leaders and a couple of good results in succession could see that lead cut into quite dramatically.
The fact that Marcus Trescothick’s men have tasted defeat just one this season shows exactly how tough they are and this team could well surprise at odds of 5/1. Seven time winners Warwickshire are no back number either and are also on offer at 5/1.
This county have quite a settled side with Captain Jim Troughton in charge since 2011, and that could be key as we come into the final stages of the 2014 County Championship season.