Surrey v Middlesex and Yorkshire v Lancashire friendlies announced

The Oval
The last game of county cricket played at The Oval took place last September

Surrey will host Middlesex and Yorkshire will face Lancashire in behind-closed-doors two-day friendlies in late July.

The Oval will host Surrey-Middlesex for a two-day red-ball game on 26 and 27 July which will be streamed online.

Lancashire will meet Yorkshire at Headingley on 24 and 25 July, with that match available for club members of both sides to watch online.

County cricket is postponed until at least 1 August because of coronavirus.

However, England will start a three-Test series against West Indies on 8 July.

Surrey and Lancashire were the only two of the 18 first-class counties who did not furlough players amid the pandemic.

The announcement indicates Middlesex and Yorkshire will start to bring their players off the government job retention scheme soon, while several other counties have resumed training in small groups.

Surrey will be streaming the match using multiple cameras on their Facebook page and website.

Playing a regionalised four-day competition plus the T20 Blast is one of the possible options being considered for when the domestic season can be allowed to start.

Club cricket has 'very low risks' - ECB

The government said on Tuesday that recreational cricket cannot resume until ways to make the game more secure are approved, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying "the ball is a natural vector of disease".

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday: "We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted.

"It is our strong desire to work with Government to see the return of recreational cricket on or around 4 July, as they continue to lift other restrictions more broadly across society."