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County Championship Division Two preview: Yorkshire hope to keep basement stay to one summer

Yorkshire bounced straight back to the top table the last time they were relegated into Division Two of the County Championship and the troubled White Rose county are 6/4 to do the same again following last season's fall from grace.

It's 11 years since Yorkshire last played in Division Two and despite troubles off the pitch as much as on them they head the likes of 9/2 shots Sussex and Glamorgan at 5/1 in the battle to land title glory this summer.

ECB hoping for fireworks with points tweaks

WhatCounty Championship Division Two
WhereEngland and Wales
When6th April to 29th September, 2023
How to watchSky Sports Cricket
OddsYorkshire 6/4, Sussex 9/2, Glamorgan 5/1, Gloucestershire 8/1, Worcestershire 9/1, Durham 9/1, Derbyshire 12/1, Leicestershire 20/1

Yorkshire's fall from grace sees them line up in Division Two of the 2023 County Championship, a competition which has a few tweaks from 2022. 

The quest for a more dashing four-day game, doubtless encouraged by England's thrilling displays in the Test arena, have seen the points awarded for drawn games reduced from eight to five. 

The first batting bonus point will be collected after scoring 250 runs – up from 200 – with sides needing to score in excess of four runs an over to reach the new mark of 450 off no more than 110 overs required for the full set of five points. 

The first seven rounds of matches take place before the Ashes, there will be a further five fixtures in June and July, with a packed September rounding off the campaign.

Tykes no certs of swift return

Yorkshire, relegated alongside Gloucestershire into the eight-county second tier, are 6/4 favourites to go straight back up. 

However, there is a glum mood around Headingley and under the new captaincy of Shan Masood – who will miss the start of the season. 

Bear in mind the county is reportedly losing members, money and possibly points as they remain in the dark over a potential ECB sanction. 

Throw in the fact that key players like Joe Root, Harry Brook and Dawid Malan won't be around much and Jonny Bairstow starts the year injured, and this threatens to be a difficult campaign.

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Can Sussex take the wickets to mount a challenge?

The highly-experienced Paul Farbrace represents an excellent appointment as head coach at Hove where India's run machine Cheteshwar Pujara can be relied upon on at No.3. 

Aussie ace Steve Smith is also lined up for some pre-Ashes action. The question for 9/2 pokes Sussex is, who takes the wickets? 

Ollie Robinson should star when the chances arise and George Garton can be a real threat. But this is a county which has managed just three first-class wins in the last three year so mindset has to change as much as the playing staff. 

Welshmen waiting in wings

If there are nagging questions over both Yorkshire and Sussex, then maybe Glamorgan, a close-run third in 2022 and 5/1 this time, can slip into the top two. 

The world's top-ranked batsman Marnus Labuschagne will contribute when he plays because he always has and there's a solidity to their top order which can only be a positive. 

One negative, however, was leading wicket taker Michael Hogan's decision to leave for Kent. 

Relegated Gloucestershire are priced at 8/1 and smarting at the absence of crocked paceman David Payne. There are many in Bristol believing newcomer Zafar Gohar can become the section's star spinner though he and his county will be hoping the weather improves for him to have a chance of really shining. 

Leicestershire determined to avoid wooden spoon

There can be cases made for each of the other four counties, with surely the only way up for Leicestershire, who suffered a fourth winless campaign in the last 10 years in 2022. 

At 20/1, however, they are priced up for yet another wooden spoon. 

Derbyshire (12/1) are on the up under inspirational coach Mickey Arthur and if they can make light of Masood's departure to Leeds and veteran batsman Wayne Madsden can get anywhere close to last summer's 1,273-runs haul, then they can get into the promotion picture. 

There's a fresh start at 9/1 chances Durham under coach Ryan Campbell, who is promising more expansive, exciting long-format entertainment. 

And Worcestershire, at 9/1, have been making headway in the red-ball game recently and now need to take that to the next level under new coach Alan Richardson.

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