The Natwest T20 blast 2017 kicks off in July this year, yet again igniting the interest levels of the spectators of the county game in England and Wales.
The oldest T20 competition in the world is truly a sight to behold, especially with the addition of England’s greatest in the form of a special draft for the test players which has been announced recently.
There are 18 counties vying for the title as always, with Natwest T20 cricket in 2014 having renewed their long standing relationship with county cricket in England and Wales and in doing so they have created a globally applauded juggernaut which attracts viewers from as far as the sub continent itself.
The league kicks off in early July with matches taking place in the league format which has 18 teams each. The NatWest T20 Blast schedule for the 2017 edition was announced earlier.
There are two divisions created of nine teams each, where each team plays six other teams twice, once at home and the other away and also plays two matches with the other teams left from the original nine, to bring the total number of matches played by any team in the league format to 14.
The most successful side in the league are the Leicestershire Foxes who have won three titles in the T20 competition, followed by current champions Northamptonshire Steelbacks who have two titles as do the Hampshire Royals.
Each county has the opportunity to name only two internationals in their starting lineup so even though it is about the bat and ball in the end, strategies do count for a lot in this game. Regional rivalries in the North-South divide result in ferociously contested matches, not to mention the Wales v England rivalry enjoyed by clubs either side of the divide. NatWest T20 Blast squads for the 2017 edition can be found here.
The league itself promises to be an alluring proposition for cricket fans, not to mention the nail biting knockout stages which have left many teams trophyless even after all these years. T20 itself germinated in the roots of the English County set up all the way back in the early years of the previous decade and it has only grown larger with each passing cycle. Get more information on the NatWest T20 Blast tickets here.
Previous winners of the English T20 competition:
Friends Life t20:
Who will win the 2017 edition of the NatWest T20 Blast? Our latest T20 Blast predictions here.