T20 Blast

Last updated

T20 Blast
CountriesFlag of England.svg  England
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Administrator ECB
Format Twenty20
First edition 2003
Latest edition 2021
Tournament format Group stage and knockout
Number of teams18
Current champion Notts Outlaws (2nd title)
Most successful Leicestershire Foxes (3 titles)
TV Sky Sports
Cricket current event.svg 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.

Contents

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. [1] [2] [3]

History

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.

Twenty20 Cup

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. [4] [5] 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.

Friends Provident/FriendsLife T20

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 T20 Blast

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. [6] 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 Blast

Vitality became the tournament sponsors in 2018 after signing a deal to become the title partner for four years. [2]

Competition format

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). [7]

Two division format

Three division format

Winners

Finals day has been held annually towards the end of the English cricket season.

SeasonVenueWinnerResultRunner-upSource
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

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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.

References

  1. "Vitality announced as new title partner for T20 cricket". England and Wales Cricket Board. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. 1 2 "ECB announce Vitality as new T20 Blast sponsor". www.thecricketer.com. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  3. "Recent Match Report - Worcestershire vs Sussex, Twenty20 Cup (England), Final | ESPNcricinfo.com". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  4. New-look English Twenty20 agreed, BBC Sport, 16 July 2008; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  5. ECB unveils new Twenty20 tournament, CricInfo, 16 July 2008; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  6. Freddie Wilde Blast promises to break 1m barrier, CricInfo, 14 May 2015; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  7. "Vitality Blast 2020 fixtures: Edgbaston Finals Day to conclude domestic season". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 12 August 2020.