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T20 Blast Schedule 2023, Fixtures, Match Dates, Teams and Venues in England

The Vitality blast is England’s T20 professional domestic competition played every year. This tournament was formed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003.

In the initial seasons, the T20 blast didn’t have much popularity as the people of England were more interested in the longer version of cricket (ODI and Test). It took a while for this league to gain crowds in the stand.

 In 2004, the match between Middlesex and Surrey held at Lord’s saw a record breaking audience of 26,500 which was the highest attendee in a county match since 1953.

The T20 blast tournament was remodeled and renamed several times for sponsorship reasons. T20 blast was changed to Friends Provident T20 in 2009, then to Natwest T20 Blast in 2014 and finally was changed to Vitality Blast T20.  Health insurance company called Vitality has signed a four-year deal to become the title sponsor of the T20 blast.

Unlike most other leagues, this league is not owned by any franchise owner instead domestic counties run their respective teams. Other leagues in the world had changed / upgraded their domestic first-class teams to franchises (for example in BBL, New South Wales Blues was changed to Sydney Sixers), however  England have maintained all their 18 county teams since the 1st season of the Vitality blast.

The vision of this league is to attract the younger audience especially the kids, who spend their summer vacations by watching a compressed version of one-day cricket called the T20 cricket.

In the 2018 season of Vitality blast, the brand value of the league was 450 million US dollars. As the standard of living in the UK is high, therefore the advertisement rates were sold at higher prices.

The previous edition (2020) of Vitality Blast was a truncated season and was played behind closed doors in a bio secure environment due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Team Participating in the Vitality Blast T20

A total of 18 teams representing their first-class counties compete in the vitality blast. The teams are grouped into either two divisions (Northern and Southern) or three divisions (Northern, Central and Southern Division).

The previous edition of Vitality Blast was played in the two division format.  The Surrey Lions are the inaugural champions of T20 blast and Notts Outlaws are the defending champions of T20 blast.

North Group Teams :

1. Durham Cricket –

Captain –  Scott Borthwick

Home Ground –  Emirates Riverside

Titles –  Nil

Previous season  (2020) –  Finished 4th in the league stage

2. Derbyshire Falcons –

Captain – Billy Godleman

Home venue –  County Cricket ground, Derby

Titles –  Nil

Previous season (2020) – finished 6th in points table

3. Yorkshire Vikings –

Captain – Steven Patterson

Home venue – Yorkshire Cricket Ground

Titles – Nil

Previous season (2020) finished 5th in the points table

4. Leicestershire Foxes

Captain – Colin Ackermann

Home venue –  Grace Road

Titles –  3 (2004, 2006, 2011)

Previous season (2020) – quarter-finalist

5. Lancashire Lighting –

Captain – Dane Vilas

Home venue – Old Trafford Cricket ground

Titles – 1 (2015)

Previous season (2020)  – Semi-finalist

6. Notts Outlaws (Nottinghamshire) –

Captain – Dan Christian

Home venue –  Trent Bridge

Titles – 2 (2017,2020)

Previous season (2020) – Champions

Central Group Teams:

1. Steelbacks (Northamptonshire)

Captain – Adam Rossington

Home venue – Campbell Park Cricket Ground

Titles – 2  (2013,2016)

Previous season (2020) – quarter-finalist

2. Gloucestershire

Captain  – Jack Taylor

Home venue – Bristol county ground

Titles – Nil

Previous season (2020) – Semi finalist

3. Somerset

Captain –Lewis Gregory

Home venue – Somerset Cricket Ground

Titles –  1 (2005)

Previous season (2020) – finished 4th in group stage

4. Glamorgan

Captain – Chris Cooke

Home venue – Sophia Gardens

Titles – Nil

Previous season (2020) – finished 5th in group stage

5. Birmingham Bears (Warwickshire)

Captain – Will Rhodes

Home venue –  Edgbaston Stadium

Titles – 1 (2014)

Previous season (2020) – finished 3rd in group stage

6. Worcestershire Rapids

Captain – Moeen Ali

Home venue – New Road

Titles – 1 (2018)

Previous season (2020) – finished 6th in the league stage

South Group Teams:

1. Kent Spitfires

Captain – Sam Billings

Home venue – St Lawrence Cricket Ground

Titles – 1 (2007)

Previous season – (2020)

2. Sussex Sharks

Captain – Luke Wright

Home venue – 1st Central County Ground

Titles – 1 (2009)

Previous season (2020) – quarterfinalist

3. Middlesex

Captain – Dawid Malan

Home venue – Lord’s

Titles – 1 (2008)

Previous season (2020) – finished 3rd in group stage

4. Surrey

Captain –  Jade Dernbach

Home venue – Kia Oval

Titles –  1 (2003)

Previous season (2020) – Finalist

5. Hampshire

Captain – James Vince

Home venue – The Ages Bowl

Titles –  1 (2010)

Previous season (2020) – finished 6th in group stage

6. Essex Eagles

Captain – Simon Harmer

Home venue – County Ground, Chelmsford

Titles –  1 (2019)

Previous season (2020) – finished 5th in group stage

Format –

The matches are played in group stages and knockout format. The number of matches per team and total number of group stage matches depends on the division of groups. The higher the number of groups, the higher the number of matches played per team.

The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarter finals. The winners of quarter finals move to the semi final and then to the final. If the teams are divided into 2 groups (North and South Division) , then each team plays 14 matches which sums up to 133 group stage matches.

If the teams are divided into 3 groups (North, South and Central), then each team plays 10 matches and a  total 97 of group stages are played. The top-3 teams from north and south group along with top-2 teams from the central group will qualify for the quarter finals. The winners of quarter finals move to the semi final and then to the final.

Team Records –

1Surrey LionsWarwickshire Bears2003
2Leicestershire FoxesSurrey Lion2004
3Somerset SabresLancashire Lightning2005
4Leicestershire FoxesNotts Outlaws2006
5Kent SpitfiresGloucestershire Gladiators2007
6Middlesex CrusadersKent Spitfires2008
7Sussex SharksSomerset Sabres2009
8Hampshire RoyalsSomerset2010
9Leicestershire FoxesSomerset2011
10Hampshire RoyalsYorkshire Carnegie2012
11Northants SteelbacksSurrey2013
12Birmingham BearsLancashire Lightning2014
13Lancashire LightningNorthants Steelbacks2015
14Northants SteelbacksDurham Jets2016
15Notts OutlawsBirmingham Bears2017
16Worcestershire RapidsSussex Sharks2018
17Essex EaglesWorcestershire Rapids2019
18Notts OutlawsSurrey2020

Player Records –

Top-10 Run Getters

Luke Wright who has been an an integral part of the Sussex since 2004

has scored the most runs in the history Vitality Blast. Averaging 33.04, he scored 4498 at a healthy strike rate of 148.8.

4 out top-10 players belong to Northamptonshire county, which clearly shows that Northamptonshire is a batting dominant side.

Luke Wright [Sussex]4498
Joe Denly  [Kent]4079
Riki Wessels [Northamptonshire]  4035
James Vince [Hampshire]3826
Steven Croft  [Lancashire]   3680
Samit Patel [Nottinghamshire]3602
Ravi Bopara [Essex]3527
Alex Hales  [Nottinghamshire]3503
Chris Nash [Nottinghamshire]3465
    10. Phil Mustard [Durham]3442

Top-10 Wicket takers

Danny Briggs of Hampshire is the leading wicket taker in the history of Vitality Blast T20. He has taken 172 wickets averaging around 21 at a good economy rate of 7.17.

Danny Briggs [Hampshire]172
Samit Patel [Nottinghamshire]165
Yasir Arafat [Hampshire]156
Azhar Mahmood [Kent]152
Harry Gurney [Leicestershire]148
Gareth Batty [Surrey]147
Jeetan Patel [Birmingham Bears]141
Tom Smith [Gloucestershire]137
Chris Wood [Hampshire]     130
Graham Wagg [Derbyshire]129