All You Need to Know about NatWest T20 Blast League

NatWest T20 Blast LeagueImage Source

NatWest T20 blast league is a Twenty20 cricket tournament that is held for English and Welsh first-class counties. This famous cricket tournament was started as the professional competition in the year 2003 by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The tournament was first launched to fill the gap left by Benson and Hedges cup which ended in 2002. This decision was taken because of reducing popularity and sponsorship for the one-day match. So, ECB decided to start a twenty over match which is even more interesting.  Its quick format increased the popularity of the game. The motto of the foremost game was “I don’t like cricket, I love it” which is a line from a pop song Dreadlock Holiday based on cricket.

The first series of the tournament was a grand success. It had attracted an audience of more than 27000 people. This can be considered as the largest level of audience for any game in any county since 1953. Only the one-day matches attract such number.

NatWest T20 Blast League MatchesImage Source

The most interesting thing about this game is that it did not have a consistent winner for the first seven years. This has enhanced the curiosity of the people.  So, ECB decided to increase the number of teams in the game. The success of the Indian premier league further gave impetus to this. In 2009, the ECB had around 18 teams and two overseas teams.

The tournament is usually named based on the sponsors of the match. It was called as Friend Provident t20 and Friends Life t20 from 2010 to 2013 and NatWest t20 blast since 2014. It will be sponsored by Vitality in 2018. This will be the commercial sponsor of the game for next 4 years and the game will be titled as Vitality Blast.

In the beginning, the teams were divided into two geographical divisions. In some games, three geographical divisions are used. Again the teams were divided into two from 2014. In 2018, the game was organised in the months of July and August so that there will be more participation from the children during the summer holidays. Moreover, there is a slight modification in the game format in which top four teams in each division played in the quarterfinals. There will be two semi-finals with the winning teams competing in the finals. The venue of the finals was Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

NatWest T20 Blast League Teams

The teams belonging to the Northern division include Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham Jets, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Notts Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids and Yorkshire Vikings. The teams in the southern division are Essex Eagles, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey and Sussex Sharks.

NatWest T20 Blast League TeamsImage Source

Birmingham Bears: The team was established in 2014 and its home ground is in Edgbaston. Jim Troughton is its coach and the captain of the team is Grand Elliott.

Derbyshire Falcons:  It was founded in 1870 and its home ground is located in County Ground, Derby. The players are trained by John Wright and the team is headed by Gary Wilson.

Durham Jets:  The team was commenced in 1882 and the home ground is in Riverside ground. The t20 captain of the team is Paul Collingwood and the coach is Jon Lewis.

Lancashire Lightning: The team was established in 1864 and its home ground is in Emirates Old Trafford. Gien Chapple is its coach and the captain of the team is Liam Livingstone.

Leicestershire Foxes: It was created in 1879 and its home ground is situated in Grace Road, Leicester. The players are trained by Paul Nixon and the team is headed by Colin Ackermann.

Northamptonshire Steelbacks: The team was established in 1878 and its home ground is in County Ground, Northampton. David Ripley is its coach and the captain of the team is Alex Wakely.

Notts Outlaws: It was founded in the year 1841 and its home ground is situated in Trent Bridge. The players are trained by Peter Moores and the team is headed by Dan Christian.

Worcestershire Rapids:  It was founded in the year 1865 and its home ground is located in New Road. The players are trained by Kevin Sharp and the team is headed by Joe Leech.

Yorkshire Vikings: The team was established in 1863 and its home ground is in Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds. Andrew Gale is its coach and the captain of the team is Steven Patterson.

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NatWest T20 Blast League WinnersImage Source

Essex Eagles: It was founded in the year 1876 and its home ground is located in County Ground, Chelmsford. The players are trained by Antony McGrath and the team is headed by Ryan Ten Doeschate.

Glamorgan: It was founded in 1888 and its home ground is located in Sophia Gardens. The players are trained by Robert Croft and the team is headed by Michael Hogan.

Gloucestershire: The team was established in 1864 and its home ground is in Emirates Old Trafford. Gien Chapple is its coach and the captain of the team is Liam Livingstone.

Hampshire: It was founded in the year 1863 and its home ground is located in Ageas Bowl. The players are trained by Craig White and the team is headed by James Vince.

Kent Spitfires: It was created in the year 1842 and its home ground is situated in St.Lawrence ground. The players are trained by Matt Walker and the team is headed by Sam Billings.

Middlesex: It was set up in the year 1864 and its home ground is located in Lord’s. The coach is Daniel Vettori and the team is headed by Dawid Malon.

Somerset: The team was established in 1875 and its home ground is in County Ground, Taunton. Jason Kerr is its coach and the captain of the team is Lewis Gregory.

Surrey: It was created in the year 1845 and its home ground is situated in the Oval, Kennington. The players are trained by Michael Di Venuto and the team is headed by Jade Dernbach.

Sussex Sharks: The team was established in 1839 and its home ground is in County Cricket Ground, Hove. Jason Gillespie is its coach and the captain of the team is Luke Wright.

After knowing the information, you might find the tournament to be interesting. Don’t forget to watch it next time.

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