Friends Life t20
|Tournament format||Group stage and knockout|
|Number of teams||18|
|Current champion||Northamptonshire Steelbacks|
|Qualification||Champions League Twenty20 (2011–12)|
The Friends Life t20 (previously known as the Friends Provident t20) was a Twenty20 cricket league in England and Wales run by the ECB from 2010 to 2013. The league consisted of the 18 first-class county teams divided into three divisions of six teams each. This plan, announced by the ECB in February 2009, replaced a more ambitious English cricket league project which would have included two overseas teams. The proposal was substantially modified following the credit crunch, and the change in circumstances of Allen Stanford himself[clarification needed]. Friends Provident were announced as sponsors of the competition, having previously sponsored the 50-over competition.
The first official Twenty20 matches were played on 13 June 2003, between the English counties in the Twenty20 Cup. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a relative success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by nine wickets in the final to claim the Twenty20 Cup. On 15 July 2004 Middlesex versus Surrey (the first Twenty20 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.
By the end of the 2009 Twenty20 Cup, the ECB had decided to implement a larger competition for the Twenty20 format of the game. The Twenty20 English Premier League was a proposed cricket league to be run by the ECB. The league was to consist of 18 county teams and two overseas teams divided into two divisions of ten teams each. It was rumoured that the two overseas teams were to be a side fielded by Allen Stanford of the West Indies and the winners of the Indian Premier League. After the disgrace of Stanford, this tournament was scrapped. The establishment of the Friends Life t20 contributed to the discontinuation of the Pro40 League, and a second Twenty20 League (a revamped version of the outgoing Twenty20 Cup) to be held in July, August and September, played on Friday evenings. This did not happen, and instead a modified 40 over league, the Clydesdale Bank 40 was implemented.
Friends Life t20
The t20 format of the game was introduced in 2010 (see 2010 Friends Provident t20). 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 2012 season saw a reduction in pool matches from 16 to 10 as the 18 first-class counties were divided into three geographical divisions, reverting to the format from the 2009 Twenty20 Cup.
The mascot derby
Every year on finals day there is a mascot derby.
|Team||Twenty20 Cup||Friends Life t20|
|Hampshire Royals||2 (2010; 2012)||2 (2011; 2013)|
|Leicestershire Foxes||1 (2011)|
|Northamptonshire Steelbacks||1 (2013)|
|Somerset||2 (2010; 2011)||1 (2012)|
|Yorkshire Carnegie||1 (2012)|
|Sussex Sharks||1(2009)||1 (2012)|
|Lancashire Lightning||1 (2011)|
|Essex Eagles||2 (2010; 2013)|
|Nottinghamshire Outlaws||1 (2010)|
There are 18 clubs competing for the t20 title. For the 2010 and 2011 editions, the 18 clubs were initially split into 2 (North and South) groups, containing 9 teams in each. This forms the "group stage" of the tournament. During the group stage (from June to August) each club played the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 16 games. Teams received two points for a win, one point for a tie and one point if the match was abandoned. No points were awarded for a loss. Teams were ranked by total points, then net run rate. At the end of the group stage, the top four teams from each group entered the knockout stage.
From 2012 onwards the format returned to that used in the Twenty20 Cup up to 2009, with three regional groups of six teams reducing the number of group stage games to ten to be played with the top two teams in each group plus the two third-placed teams with the best records progressing to the quarter-final stage.
The counties are able to register Twenty20 specialist players for the competition, and 2 overseas ("unqualified") players.
|14 August 2010||Rose Bowl, Southampton||Hampshire Royals
173 for 5 (20 overs)
|Won by losing fewer wickets (scores level)
173 for 6 (20 overs)
|27 August 2011||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Leicestershire Foxes
145 for 6 (20 overs)
|Won by 18 runs
127 for 9 (20 overs)
|25 August 2012||Sophia Gardens, Cardiff||Hampshire Royals
150 for 6 (20 overs)
|Won by 10 runs
140 for 8 (20 overs)
|17 August 2013||Edgbaston, Birmingham||Northamptonshire Steelbacks
194 for 2 (18 overs)
|Won by 102 runs (D/L)
92 all out (13.3 overs)
Sky Sports showed many games throughout the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons and is continuing to show them in 2013. S4C also offers some coverage with a few Glamorgan matches available with Welsh commentary.
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports|
Centuries in the Friends Life t20
- Most runs in an innings: 254/3, Gloucestershire Gladiators v Middlesex Panthers, 26 June 2011.
- Lowest total in an innings: 47, Northamptonshire Steelbacks v Durham Dynamos, 14 July 2011.
- Most runs in an innings: 119, Kevin O'Brien for Gloucestershire Gladiators v Middlesex Panthers, 26 June 2011.
- Most runs in a tournament: 668, Jimmy Adams (Hampshire Royals), 2010
- Best bowling figures: 6/5, Arul Suppiah for Somerset v Glamorgan Gladiatiors, 5 July 2011 (World Twenty20 Record).
- Most wickets in a tournament: 33, Alfonso Thomas (Somerset), 2010
- Friends Provident sponsor Twenty20, 15 October 2009, www.ecb.co.uk. Retrieved on 27 May 2010.
- "ECB unveil new Twenty20 tournament". Cricinfo. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "New-look English Twenty20 agreed". BBC. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- ECB To Replace Pro40 With EPL Twenty20 Competition
- Twenty20 groups confirmed, 18 October 2009, www.ecb.co.uk. Retrieved on 27 May 2010.
- Friends Provident t20 – format, www.ecb.co.uk. Retrieved on 27 May 2010.
- Friends Life t20 – format, www.ecb.co.uk. Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
- First Class Regulations and Playing Conditions 2010 – Regulations Governing the Qualification and Registration of Cricketers, www.ecb.co.uk. Retrieved on 27 May 2010.
- Gloucestershire v Middlesex, 26 June 2011, www.cricketarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Northamptonshire v Durham, 14 July 2011, www.cricketarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Arul Suppiah's Twenty20 record sets up Somerset victory". BBC Sport. 5 July 2011.