|Administrator||England and Wales Cricket Board|
|Format||Limited overs cricket|
|Number of teams||18 (2 leagues of 9)|
|Most successful||Essex, Kent, Lancashire (5 titles each)|
|Website||ECB Natwest Pro40 website|
The NatWest Pro40 League was a one-day cricket league for first-class cricket counties in England and Wales. It was inaugurated in 1999, but was essentially the old Sunday League retitled to reflect the fact that large numbers of matches were played on days other than Sunday.
The Sunday League was launched in 1969, as the second one-day competition in England and Wales alongside the Gillette Cup (launched in 1963). Sponsored by John Player & Sons, the league was called John Player's County League (1969), the John Player League (1970–83), then the John Player Special League (1984–86). The 17 counties of the time played each other in a league format on Sunday afternoons throughout the season. These matches were concise enough to be shown on television, with BBC2 broadcasting one match each week in full until 1980, and then as part of the Sunday Grandstand multi-sport programme. For close finishes for the title, cameras appeared at the grounds where the contenders for the title were competing and the trophy presentation to the victorious team would be on film.
Refuge Assurance replaced John Player Special as the sponsor of the competition, called the Refuge Assurance League, in 1987. In 1988 they introduced an end-of-season play-off competition known as the Refuge Assurance Cup. The top four teams of the league season qualified for this competition, with the first-placed team playing the fourth and the second-placed team playing the third, and the winners of these matches meeting in a final at a neutral venue. This competition lasted until 1991.
On Friday 5 July 1991, Somerset played Lancashire at Taunton in the first Sunday League match not to be played on a Sunday.
The Sunday League was not sponsored in 1992 (Durham making its debut in the competition this season), but in 1993 AXA Equity and Law became the sponsor. The matches this season were 50 overs per innings. The first round of matches that took place on 9 May 1993 were the first official matches in England to be played in coloured clothing and with a white ball. The following season the competition reverted to 40 overs per innings. On Wednesday 23 July 1997 Warwickshire played Somerset at Edgbaston in the first competitive county game to be played under floodlights.
The National League was launched in 1999 with the 18 first-class counties split into two divisions with three teams promoted and relegated from each. The matches were played over 45 overs and the competition was sponsored by Norwich Union. Matches were spread over the week rather than Sundays only.
The counties incorporated nicknames into their official names for the National League, from 2002. For example, Kent became the 'Spitfires', Middlesex the 'Crusaders' and Lancashire were the 'Lightning'. The following season the Scotland Saltires took part in the League until 2005.
The C & G Trophy was restructured, in 2006, from a knock-out competition to a round-robin league format, which took up the early part of the season. The National League was renamed the 'NatWest Pro40' and was played in the later part of the season with the teams playing each other once. Also, two teams instead of three were promoted to the first division and two relegated to the second division. A third promotion/relegation spot was determined in a play-off game between the team third from top in the second division and third from bottom team in the first.
In July 2009, the ECB unveiled plans for a revamped county structure involving three competitions, one of which would replace both the Pro40 and the Friends Provident Trophy.
On 27 August 2009, this new competition was announced as a 40-overs-per-innings tournament, similar to the Pro40. The ECB 40, also known as the Clydesdale Bank 40 for sponsorship reasons, would serve as one of the three competitions in county cricket for the next four years, along with the County Championship and the Friends Provident t20.
Division 1 teams in 2009:
Division 2 teams in 2009:
|Season||1st Division||2nd Division|
|2009||Sussex||Not applicable||Warwickshire||Not applicable|
|2007||Worcestershire||Warwickshire, Essex, Northamptonshire||Durham||Somerset, Middlesex|
|2006||Essex||Glamorgan, Durham, Middlesex||Gloucestershire||Worcestershire, Hampshire|
|2005||Essex||Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Hampshire||Sussex||Durham, Warwickshire|
|2004||Glamorgan||Warwickshire, Kent, Surrey||Middlesex||Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire|
|2003||Surrey||Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire||Lancashire||Northamptonshire, Hampshire|
|Norwich Union League|
|2002||Glamorgan||Somerset, Durham, Nottinghamshire||Gloucestershire||Surrey, Essex|
|2001||Kent||Gloucestershire, Surrey, Northamptonshire||Glamorgan||Durham, Worcestershire|
|Norwich Union National League|
|2000||Gloucestershire||Worcestershire, Lancashire, Sussex||Surrey||Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire|
|CGU National League|
|1999||Lancashire||Warwickshire, Hampshire, Essex||Sussex||Somerset, Northamptonshire|
AXA Life League
AXA Equity & Law League
|Refuge Assurance League |||Refuge Assurance Cup|
John Player Special League
John Player League
John Player's County League
Warwickshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Warwickshire. Its 50 overs team is called the Warwickshire Bears and its T20 team the Birmingham Bears. Founded in 1882, the club held minor status until it was elevated to first-class in 1894 pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895. Since then, Warwickshire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Warwickshire's kit colours are black and gold and the shirt sponsor is Gullivers Sports Travel. The club's home is Edgbaston Cricket Ground in south Birmingham, which regularly hosts Test and One-Day International matches.
The Twenty20 Cup, known since 2014 as the T20 Blast, is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition for English and Welsh first-class counties. The competition was established by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 as the first professional Twenty20 league in the world. It is the top-level Twenty20 competition in England and Wales.
Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Middlesex which has effectively been subsumed within the ceremonial county of Greater London. The club was founded in 1864 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century and the club has always held first-class status. Middlesex have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Worcestershire. Its Vitality Blast T20 team - who are the defending champions after claiming their first title in 2018 - has been rebranded the Worcestershire Rapids, but the county is known by most fans as ’the Pears’. The club is based at New Road, Worcester. Founded in 1865, Worcestershire held minor status at first and was a prominent member of the early Minor Counties Championship in the 1890s, winning the competition three times. In 1899, the club joined the County Championship and the team was elevated to first-class status. Since then, Worcestershire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.
Durham County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Durham. Founded in 1882, Durham held minor status for over a century and was a prominent member of the Minor Counties Championship, winning the competition seven times. In 1992, the club joined the County Championship and the team was elevated to senior status as an official first-class team. Durham has been classified as an occasional List A team from 1964, then as a full List A team from 1992; and as a senior Twenty20 team since the format's introduction in 2003.
Somerset County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Somerset. Founded in 1875, Somerset was initially regarded as a minor county until official first-class status was acquired in 1895. Somerset has competed in the County Championship since 1891 and has subsequently played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club's limited overs team was formerly named the Somerset Sabres, but is now known only as Somerset.
The Friends Provident Trophy was a one-day cricket competition in the United Kingdom.
Hampshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Hampshire. Hampshire teams formed by earlier organisations, principally the Hambledon Club, always had first-class status and the same applied to the county club when it was founded in 1863. Because of poor performances for several seasons until 1885, Hampshire then lost its status for nine seasons until it was invited into the County Championship in 1895, since when the team have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Hampshire originally played at the Antelope Ground, Southampton until 1885 when they relocated to the County Ground, Southampton until 2000, before moving to the purpose-built Rose Bowl in West End, which is in the Borough of Eastleigh. The club has twice won the County Championship, in the 1961 and 1973 seasons.
The 1997 cricket season was the 98th in which the County Championship has been an official competition. The season centred on the six-Test Ashes series against Australia. England won the first, at Edgbaston, by the decisive margin of nine wickets, and the rain-affected second Test at Lord's was drawn, but any English optimism was short-lived. Australia won the next three games by huge margins to secure the series and retain The Ashes, and England's three-day victory in the final game at The Oval was little more than a consolation prize. It was the 68th test series between the two sides with Australia finally winning 3-2 The three-match ODI series which preceded the Tests produced a statistical curiosity, with England winning each match by an identical margin, six wickets.
Michael Burns is an English first-class list cricket umpire and former first-class cricketer who played county cricket for Warwickshire and Somerset in a first-class career which spanned from 1992 until 2005. He also played Minor Counties cricket for Cumberland and Cornwall. An adaptable cricketer, he appeared for Cumberland and Warwickshire as a wicket-keeper, but when he moved to Somerset he developed into an aggressive batsman who bowled at medium-pace when needed.
Floodlit (day/night) Cricket is cricket played under floodlights at night. The use of floodlights in cricket matches has helped to bring much investment into the game both at a national and an international level since it began in 1977. Today floodlit (day/night) cricket is played in most of the test playing nations although some nations only started hosting day/night matches in the last 10 to 14 years.
The 2008 English cricket season was the 109th in which the County Championship had been an official competition. Four regular tournaments were played: The LV County Championship (first-class), Friends Provident Trophy, NatWest Pro40 League and the Twenty20 Cup (T20). All four tournaments featured the eighteen classic county cricket teams, although the Friends Provident Trophy also featured sides from Ireland and Scotland.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club in 2007 was the cricket season when the English club Derbyshire had been playing for one hundred and thirty-six years. In the County Championship, they finished sixth in the second division. In the Pro40 league, they finished eighth in the second division. They were eliminated at group level in the Friends Provident Trophy and came eighth in the North section of the Twenty20 Cup.
The ECB40, last known as the Yorkshire Bank 40 (YB40) for sponsorship reasons, was a forty-over limited overs cricket competition for the English first-class counties. It began in the 2010 English cricket season as a replacement for the Pro40 and Friends Provident Trophy competitions. Yorkshire Bank were the last sponsors, taking over the naming rights from their parent company Clydesdale Bank for the 2013 edition. Warwickshire won the inaugural tournament. The competition was replaced by a 50-over tournament, to bring the domestic game in line with the international game from 2014 on—the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The 2010 Clydesdale Bank 40 tournament was the inaugural ECB 40 limited overs cricket competition for the English and Welsh first-class counties. In addition to the 18 counties, Scotland and the Netherlands took part, as well as the Unicorns, a team of players who did not have first-class contracts.
Somerset County Cricket Club competed in four domestic competitions during the 2009 English cricket season: the first division of the County Championship, the Friends Provident Trophy, the first division of the NatWest Pro40 League and the Twenty20 Cup. Through their performance in the Twenty20 Cup, the team qualified for the Champions League Twenty20. They enjoyed a successful season, but fell short of winning any competitions, prompting Director of Cricket Brian Rose to say "We've had enough of being cricket's nearly men."
The Royal London One-Day Cup is a fifty-over limited overs cricket competition for the England and Wales first-class counties. It began in 2014 as a replacement for the ECB 40 tournament that ran from 2010 to 2013. The number of overs per innings has been increased to 50 to bring the competition in line with One-Day Internationals.
The 2017 English cricket season was the 118th in which the County Championship had been an official competition. The season, which began on 28 March and ended on 29 September, featured two global one-day competitions played in England and Wales, the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup. England Women's team won the World Cup, defeating India Women in the final at Lord's. Pakistan beat India in the Champions Trophy final.