This article needs additional citations for verification .(March 2018)
|Countries|| England |
|Tournament format||Group stage and knockout|
|Number of teams||18|
|Current champion||Notts Outlaws (2nd title)|
|Most successful||Leicestershire Foxes (3 titles)|
|2021 t20 Blast|
|Website||ECB Vitality Blast|
The T20 Blast, currently named the Vitality Blast for sponsorship reasons 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.
The competition has been known by a variety of names due to commercial sponsorship. From 2003 to 2009 it was known as the Twenty20 Cup, from 2010 to 2013 it was known as the Friends Provident t20 and Friends Life t20 and from 2014 to 2017 as the Natwest t20 Blast. From 2018, the competition is sponsored by insurance company Vitality and is known as the Vitality Blast.
When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one-day competition to fill its place. In response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship the decision was made to launch a 20 over competition with the aim of boosting the game's popularity, particularly with the younger generation. The intention was to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket which was accessible to fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game.
The first Twenty20 Cup was held in 2003 and was marketed with the slogan "I don’t like cricket, I love it" – a line from the cricket-themed pop song Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc.
The first official Twenty20 Cup matches were played on 13 June 2003. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by nine wickets in the final to win the first Twenty20 Cup Final. On 15 July 2004 Middlesex versus Surrey (the first Twenty20 Cup game to be held at Lord's) attracted a crowd of 26,500, the largest attendance for any county cricket game other than a one-day final since 1953.[ citation needed ] The tournament saw six different winners in its seven years.
By the end of the 2009, the ECB had decided to implement a larger competition for the T20 format of the game. The Twenty20 English Premier League was a proposed cricket league to be run by the ECB consisting of the 18 county teams and two overseas teams divided into two divisions with promotion and relegation.The proposal was influenced by the success of the Indian Premier League and by Allen Stanford who had organised the Stanford Super Series in the Caribbean. After the collapse of Stanford's series the proposals were scrapped. Instead a modified 40 over league, the Clydesdale Bank 40 was implemented.
The Friends Provident T20 (renamed the FriendsLife T20 after just one season) was introduced in 2010. The competition initially divided the eighteen counties into North and South groups, before reverting to the previous model of three divisions of six teams. This period of Twenty20 cricket in England and Wales saw Leicestershire and Hampshire becoming the most successful sides, and in 2013 Northants won their first trophy for two decades.
NatWest became the tournament sponsors in 2014, renewing a longstanding relationship the bank had with the county game. The first year of the tournament saw 700,000 spectators attend the games, the most in the competition's history.The tournament was won in 2014 by the Birmingham Bears, Warwickshire County Cricket Club's name for the purposes of Twenty20 cricket, making it the first time a county trophy had been won by a team using a city name. The final victors of this branding of the tournament in 2017 were Notts Outlaws.
Vitality became the tournament sponsors in 2018 after signing a deal to become the title partner for four years.
The 18 first-class counties compete for the title, initially playing in two or three geographical divisions, the number varying across the years. In 2018, matches were moved to be played in a block during July and August with the aim of attracting large crowds during the school summer holidays. In seasons with three divisions the top two teams in each division and the two best third place teams qualify for the playoff stage, in seasons with two divisions the top four teams in each division qualify for the playoff stage, with a set of quarter-finals leaving four teams in the competition. The two semi-finals and the final are played on one finals day at Edgbaston in September. In 2020, due to the delay in the start of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic matches started on 27 August in a three division format, with the quarter finals played on 1 October and the semi-finals and finals on 4 October (postponed due to rain on the third).
Finals day has been held annually towards the end of the English cricket season.
|2003||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||Surrey Lions||Won by 9 wickets||Warwickshire Bears||Scorecard|
|2004||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Leicestershire Foxes||Won by 7 wickets||Surrey Lions||Scorecard|
|2005||The Oval, London||Somerset Sabres||Won by 7 wickets||Lancashire Lightning||Scorecard|
|2006||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||Leicestershire Foxes||Won by 4 runs||Notts Outlaws||Scorecard|
|2007||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Kent Spitfires||Won by 4 wickets||Gloucestershire Gladiators||Scorecard|
|2008||Rose Bowl, Southampton||Middlesex Crusaders||Won by 3 runs||Kent Spitfires||Scorecard|
|2009||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Sussex Sharks||Won by 63 runs||Somerset Sabres||Scorecard|
|2010||Rose Bowl, Southampton||Hampshire Royals||Won by losing fewer wickets (scores level)||Somerset||Scorecard|
|2011||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Leicestershire Foxes||Won by 18 runs||Somerset||Scorecard|
|2012||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff||Hampshire Royals||Won by 10 runs||Yorkshire Carnegie||Scorecard|
|2013||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Northants Steelbacks||Won by 102 runs (D/L)||Surrey||Scorecard|
|2014||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Birmingham Bears||Won by 4 runs||Lancashire Lightning||Scorecard|
|2015||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Lancashire Lightning||Won by 13 runs||Northants Steelbacks||Scorecard|
|2016||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Northants Steelbacks||Won by 4 wickets||Durham Jets||Scorecard|
|2017||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Notts Outlaws||Won by 22 runs||Birmingham Bears||Scorecard|
|2018||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Worcestershire Rapids||Won by 5 wickets||Sussex Sharks||Scorecard|
|2019||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Essex Eagles||Won by 4 wickets||Worcestershire Rapids||Scorecard|
|2020||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Notts Outlaws||Won by 6 wickets||Surrey||Scorecard|
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.
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.
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 Friends Provident Trophy was a one-day cricket competition in the United Kingdom.
Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship competitions played at different levels: the County Championship, a first-class competition which currently involves eighteen first-class county clubs among which seventeen are English and one is from Wales; and the Minor Counties Championship, which currently involves nineteen English county clubs and one club that represents several Welsh counties.
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Cricket is one of the most popular sports in England, and has been played since the 16th century. Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord's, developed the modern rules of play and conduct.
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 Friends Provident t20 tournament was the inaugural Friends Provident t20 Twenty20 cricket competition for the England and Wales first-class counties. The competition ran from 1 June 2010 until the finals day at The Rose Bowl on 14 August 2010. The eighteen counties were split into two regions, North and South, with the top four teams from each group progressing to the quarter-final knockout stage. The competition was won by Hampshire Royals, who beat Essex Eagles in the semi-finals, and Somerset in the final, by virtue of losing fewer wickets in a tied match.
The 2014 Royal London One-Day Cup tournament was the 2014 season ECB limited overs cricket competition for the England and Wales first-class counties. It replaced the ECB 40 tournament that ran from 2010 to 2013. The number of overs per innings was increased to 50 to bring the competition in line with One Day Internationals. Unlike in the previous competition, the national teams of Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns cricket team did not participate in the competition.
The 2014 NatWest t20 Blast was the first season of the NatWest t20 Blast, the English Twenty20 cricket competition. The competition ran from 16 May 2014 until Finals Day at Edgbaston on 23 August, which was won by Birmingham Bears. The competition replaced the Friends Life t20 competition. With attendance figures over 700,000, it was the most attended season of T20 cricket in England since the format began in 2003.
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 Women's Cricket Super League (WCSL), known as the Kia Super League (KSL) for sponsorship reasons, was a semi-professional women's Twenty20 cricket competition in England and Wales operated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The competition featured six franchise teams, partnered with a variety of county teams and boards and universities, and was envisaged as a means to bridge the gap between amateur domestic cricket and the increasingly professional international game.
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The 2018 Vitality Blast was the 2018 season of the t20 Blast, a professional Twenty20 cricket league in England and Wales. It was the first season in which the domestic T20 competition, ran by the ECB, has been branded as the Vitality Blast due to a new sponsorship deal. The league consisted of the 18 first-class county teams divided into two divisions of nine teams each with fixtures played between July and September. The final day took place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on 15 September 2018.
The 2019 English cricket season will run between 26 March and 26 September. It will be the 120th in which the County Championship has been an official competition and will feature first-class, one-day and Twenty20 cricket competitions throughout England and Wales.
The 2020 Vitality Blast was the 2020 season of the t20 Blast, a professional Twenty20 cricket league being played in England and Wales. It was the third season in which the domestic T20 competition, run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which was branded as the Vitality Blast due to the tournament's sponsorship deal. On 12 August 2020, following a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECB confirmed the fixtures for the tournament.
The Women's Twenty20 Cup, known since 2018 as the Vitality Women’s Twenty20 Cup, is a women's Twenty20 cricket competition organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board. After being cancelled in 2020, in 2021 it operated with regionalised groups, with teams having previously been arranged in tiered divisions.