NatWest t20 Blast
|Tournament format||Group stage and knockout|
|Number of teams||18|
|Current champion||Northamptonshire Steelbacks (2nd title)|
|2017 NatWest t20 Blast|
The NatWest T20 Blast is a Natwest t20 blast league in England and Wales run by the ECB from 2014. The league consists of the 18 first-class county teams divided into two divisions of nine teams each. This setup, which was first announced in November 2013, replaced the Friends Life t20 competition as the main domestic Twenty20 competition in England and Wales.
The NatWest T20 Blast is the twenty-over competition featuring county teams from England and Wales.
The first official Twenty20 Cup matches were played on 13 June 2003, between the English counties in the Natwest t20 blast . 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.
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. 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 Provident/FriendsLife t20
The Friends Provident t20 (renamed the FriendsLife t20 after just one season) was introduced in 2010 (see 2010 Friends Provident t20). 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 Northamptonshire won their first trophy for two decades.
NatWest t20 Blast
NatWest became the tournament sponsors in 2014, renewing a longstanding relationship the bank has had with the county game. The first year of the tournament saw 700,000 spectators attend the games, the most since the first year. The tournament was won in 2014 by the Birmingham Bears, Warwickshire's specially-adopted name for the tournament, making it the first time a county trophy had been won by a team using a city name. The current holders of the trophy are Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
There are 18 clubs competing for the t20 title. These clubs are initially split into 2 divisions (North and South), each containing 9 teams, for the group stage of the competition. During the group stage (from May to July) each club plays 6 of the other teams in the same division twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents. They play the other two teams only once, for a total of 14 games each. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a tie or if the match is abandoned. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then net run rate. At the end of the group stage, the top four teams from each group enter the knockout stage.
The semi-finals and final of the competition are played consecutively on the same day and at the same ground, at the end of the competition. During finals day, there is a mascot derby, which is a race between mascots representing all 18 counties. Finals day is usually held at Edgbaston.
|Team||Twenty20 Cup||Friends Life t20||NatWest t20 Blast|
Most successful teams
- "County schedule for 2014 announced". 26 November 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "ECB unveil new Twenty2". Cricinfo. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "New-look English T20 agreed". BBC. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- ECB To Replace Pro40 With EPL T20 Competition
- "Domestic T20 crowds break 700,000 barrier". ecb.co.uk.
- "Fixtures & Results - NatWest T20 Blast 2014 in 2014". Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "NatWest T20 Blast" (PDF). Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Rules for ECB Competitions" (PDF). Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Behind the scenes at the NatWest t20 Blast launch". 30 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.