ECB Announces The T20 Blast Schedule
The eagerly anticipated T20 Blast competition will begin on Thursday 27 August. It starts with South Group tie with holders Essex hosting Middlesex. This kicks off a full programme of matches around the country, concluding with Yorkshire’s clash with Nottinghamshire at Headingley. The T20 Blast Schedule will be widely welcomed by viewers worldwide as cricket continues to return post lockdown.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today confirmed that this summer’s domestic season will come to a conclusion with the popular Vitality Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday, October 3. This is the latest finish to a county calendar in its history.
With safety in mind and to reduce travel, the Vitality Blast has been regionalised into the same three groups used in the newly formatted red-ball four-day Bob Willis Trophy domestic competition. Each county, therefore, is set to play 10 group-stage matches before the knockout stages according to the T20 Blast schedule.
T20 Blast Schedule Groups
North: Derbyshire Falcons, Lancashire Lightning, Durham, Leicestershire Foxes, Notts Outlaws, Yorkshire Vikings.
Central: Birmingham Bears, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Northants Steelbacks, Somerset, Worcestershire Rapids.
South: Essex Eagles, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex Sharks.
All counties will be relishing the return to white-ball action . Particularly those who have struggled in the Bob Willis Trophy format. Last years runners-up the south group’s Sussex Sharks will be looking to avenge their defeat from 2019.
It is hoped with the late finish that the four T20 Blast quarter-finals on Thursday 1 October could be played in front of limited crowds. Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated he aims to have crowds back in arenas in October.
This means that fans would then also be in attendance for the T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston two days later, for what will now be the 2020 domestic season’s concluding fixture.
With the ongoing international calendar and the continued use of both Emirates Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl, due to their on-site hotels, Lancashire will play at least one home game at outground Liverpool Cricket Club.
Likewise, Hampshire will play their first four games away from home to avoid a clash with international fixtures before returning to the Ageas Bowl. Middlesex will return to Lords for this competition, having played their Bob Willis Trophy fixtures at Radlett Cricket Club instead.
Lastly, don’t forget the second Test match of the series between England and Pakistan begins tomorrow at 11.00 am. Pakistan will be hoping to level the series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. It should be an exciting game.
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