One of England’s premier domestic club-based competitions, the T20 Blast, is about to kickstart with its first-round fixtures on Wednesday (June 9).
18 of the UK’s prominent county clubs, divided into two groups – North and South – will be taking on each other for the coveted T20 Blast crown over the next three months.
Having clinched the title last summer, Nottinghamshire will enter the tournament as defending champions in North Group, where they are joined by Durham, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.
In South, last year’s runners-up Surrey are grouped around teams such as Sussex, Gloucestershire, Glamorgan, Middlesex, Kent, Somerset, Hampshire and Essex.
The T20 Blast 2021 follows the competition’s traditional format, with teams taking on each other in their respective groups to try and make the top 4, which will allow them to play the quarterfinals against qualifying teams from the other group. The winners will enter the semi-finals and subsequently the final, scheduled for September 18.
Where to watch T20 Blast 2021 live: Streaming and TV details for the Vitality Blast
The good news for all the clubs taking part in the T20 Blast will be the availability of a lot of England’s international stars, featuring Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler among others. While Stokes is expected to turn up for Durham following an injury lay-off, Buttler will return to cricketing action for Lancashire after a few weeks of rest following the IPL 2021.
Players named for the upcoming white-ball series against Sri Lanka but not included in the squad for the second Test versus New Zealand are likely to play around six rounds of T20 Blast fixtures this season, more than the inaugural season of ‘The Hundred’.
Apart from Stokes and Buttler, fans can expect to also see the likes of Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Chris Jordan, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan and even Joe Root play for their respective clubs at various stages in the T20 Blast this season.
As per the schedule announced by the ECB, Lancashire will be opening their campaign against Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire versus Worcestershire in North Group on Wednesday (June 9). Leicestershire will face Lancashire on June 10 in their first match, where Yorkshire will kick off their sojourn as well via a clash with Warwickshire. Northamptonshire and Durham will play their respectively opening games on June 11.
In South Group, Somerset will take on Essex and Kent will face-off with Hampshire on June 9. The following day, the Glamorgan-Gloucestershire and Middlesex-Surrey clashes will begin the four teams’ campaigns. Sussex will enter the race from June 11 with a match against Gloucestershire.
Live Streaming and Where To Watch
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