New English T20 League set to launch in 2020
The ECB is set to launch a new T20 tournament in the UK in 2020 but unlike the NatWest T20 Blast, this new T20 city Cricket English tournament will not be based on the county circuit.
The new, proposed T20 competition which will be played in the UK will essentially not be a T20 tournament if reports are to be believed. It will be a 15-over-a-side tournament to go with an extra 10 balls which could be used by the captains tactically through the innings. More details on this are still awaited.
One of the reasons for this so-called new format of the competition is to distinguish itself from the Vitality T20 Blast, formerly known as the NatWest T20 Blast, which will still run in conjunction with this yet-to-be-named 100-ball format tournament.
Speaking to the media, the ECB chairman Tom Harrison announced, “This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game. Throughout its development, we have shown leadership, provided challenge and followed a process. We will continue to do that as the concept evolves.”
According to another board member the additional 10 balls are expected to inject a “tactical dimension” to the game.
More details are still awaited on the tournament.
The announcement of this yet-to-be-named T20 competition will be made in the near future but the tournament will only kick-start from 2020. Till such time, the NatWest T20 Blast will continue in its present avatar.
T20 City Teams:
The new T20 tournament that the ECB has proposed will be based on the lines of the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League with a total of eight teams in action. These city based T20 teams will cover regions in the country rather than the counties as has been the case in the NatWest T20 Blast and they will have names on the lines of how T20 tournaments around the world have – catchy.
The eight teams could be hosted at Lord’s, The Oval, Headingley, Swalec Stadium, Old Trafford, the Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge. A ground like the London Stadium could also host some games in the tournament.
Potential T20 City Franchises in the new Twenty20 league: North London, South London, West (Cardiff, Bristol, Taunton), Red Rose (Old Trafford), White Rose (Headingley), Birmingham, Trent Bridge, South (Rose Bowl, Hampshire)
For now, what has been proposed is that the competition will be similar to the current format of the Big Bash League rather than the Indian Premier League. Till the sixth season of the BBL, a total of 32 league games were being played but from the seventh season onward, there will be 40 group matches. These will be followed by three knock-out encounters including the final. The IPL sees a total of 56 league matches and four play-offs. This new English T20 league will have around the number of games that the BBL has rather than the IPL. Expect some sort of a playoffs format as well – numbered to be 36 matches over 38 days for now. The T20 city teams will play four home and four away matches, three play-off games and a final.
What’s known so far is that the players will be selected in a Draft-like format instead of the Auction as is used in the Indian Premier League. The Draft is used in the Pakistan Super League and the Caribbean Premier League.
Each team will be allowed to sign up for 15 players. A total of three overseas players can be signed up by each of the eight sides. 13 of these 15 players will be selected via the Draft while two players will be wild-cards, selected from the NatWest T20 Blast that will be played just before it.
When will it be played?
Efforts are being made for it to be held during the months of July and August, 2020. It will last over 38 days. (In the meantime, check the NatWest T20 Blast schedule for the 2017 edition here.)
How to watch the new T20 League?
Rights will be sold to the winning broadcaster but efforts are on to ensure that few of the matches are also telecast live on free-to-air TV.