T20 Blast

  (Redirected from Twenty20 Cup)

The T20 Blast, currently named the Vitality Blast for sponsorship reasons is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition for English and Welsh first-class counties. The competition was established by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 as the first professional Twenty20 league in the world. It is the top-level Twenty20 competition in England and Wales.

T20 Blast
Countries England
First edition2003
Latest edition2021
Tournament formatGroup stage and knockout
Number of teams18
Current championKent Spitfires (2nd title)
Most successfulLeicestershire Foxes (3 titles)
TVSky Sports
WebsiteECB Vitality Blast

The competition has been known by a variety of names due to commercial sponsorship. It was known as the Twenty20 Cup from 2003 to 2009, the Friends Provident t20 and Friends Life t20 from 2010 to 2013, and the Natwest t20 Blast from 2014 to 2017. The competition has been sponsored by insurance company Vitality since 2018 and is known as the Vitality Blast.[1][2][3]


When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one-day competition to fill its place. In response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship the decision was made to launch a 20 over competition with the aim of boosting the game's popularity, particularly with the younger generation. The intention was to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket which was accessible to fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game.

The first Twenty20 Cup was held in 2003 and was marketed with the slogan "I don’t like cricket, I love it" – a line from the cricket-themed pop song Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc.

Twenty20 CupEdit

The first official Twenty20 Cup matches were played on 13 June 2003. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by nine wickets in the final to win the first Twenty20 Cup Final. On 15 July 2004 Middlesex versus Surrey (the first Twenty20 Cup game to be held at Lord's) attracted a crowd of 26,500, the largest attendance for any county cricket game other than a one-day final since 1953. [4] The tournament saw six different winners in its seven years.

By the end of the 2009, the ECB had decided to implement a larger competition for the T20 format of the game. The Twenty20 English Premier League was a proposed cricket league to be run by the ECB consisting of the 18 county teams and two overseas teams divided into two divisions with promotion and relegation.[5][6] The proposal was influenced by the success of the Indian Premier League and by Allen Stanford who had organised the Stanford Super Series in the Caribbean. After the collapse of Stanford's series the proposals were scrapped. Instead a modified 40 over league, the Clydesdale Bank 40 was implemented.

Friends Provident/FriendsLife T20Edit

The Friends Provident T20 (renamed the FriendsLife T20 after just one season) was introduced in 2010. The competition initially divided the eighteen counties into North and South groups, before reverting to the previous model of three divisions of six teams. This period of Twenty20 cricket in England and Wales saw Leicestershire and Hampshire becoming the most successful sides, and in 2013 Northants won their first trophy for two decades.

NatWest T20 BlastEdit

NatWest became the tournament sponsors in 2014, renewing a longstanding relationship the bank had with the county game. The first year of the tournament saw 700,000 spectators attend the games, the most in the competition's history.[7] The tournament was won in 2014 by the Birmingham Bears, Warwickshire County Cricket Club's name for the purposes of Twenty20 cricket, making it the first time a county trophy had been won by a team using a city name. The final victors of this branding of the tournament in 2017 were Notts Outlaws.

Vitality BlastEdit

Vitality became the tournament sponsors in 2018 after signing a deal to become the title partner for four years.[2]

Competition formatEdit

The 18 first-class counties compete for the title, initially playing in two or three geographical divisions, the number varying across the years. In 2018, matches were moved to be played in a block during July and August with the aim of attracting large crowds during the school summer holidays. In seasons with three divisions the top two teams in each division and the two best third place teams qualify for the playoff stage, in seasons with two divisions the top four teams in each division qualify for the playoff stage, with a set of quarter-finals leaving four teams in the competition. The two semi-finals and the final are played on one finals day at Edgbaston in September. In 2020, due to the delay in the start of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic matches started on 27 August in a three division format, with the quarter finals played on 1 October and the semi-finals and finals on 4 October (postponed due to rain on the third).[8]

Two division formatEdit

Three division formatEdit


Finals day has been held annually towards the end of the English cricket season.

Season Winner Winning Margin Runner-up Venue City Source
2003 Surrey Lions Won by 9 wickets Warwickshire Bears Trent Bridge Nottingham Scorecard
2004 Leicestershire Foxes Won by 7 wickets Surrey Lions Edgbaston Birmingham Scorecard
2005 Somerset Sabres Won by 7 wickets Lancashire Lightning The Oval London Scorecard
2006 Leicestershire Foxes Won by 4 runs Notts Outlaws Trent Bridge Nottingham Scorecard
2007 Kent Spitfires Won by 4 wickets Gloucestershire Gladiators Edgbaston Birmingham Scorecard
2008 Middlesex Crusaders Won by 3 runs Kent Spitfires Rose Bowl Southampton Scorecard
2009 Sussex Sharks Won by 63 runs Somerset Sabres Edgbaston Birmingham Scorecard
2010 Hampshire Royals Won by losing fewer wickets (scores level) Somerset Rose Bowl Southampton Scorecard
2011 Leicestershire Foxes Won by 18 runs Somerset Edgbaston Birmingham Scorecard
2012 Hampshire Royals Won by 10 runs Yorkshire Carnegie Sophia Gardens Cardiff Scorecard
2013 Northants Steelbacks Won by 102 runs (D/L) Surrey Edgbaston Birmingham Scorecard
2014 Birmingham Bears Won by 4 runs Lancashire Lightning Scorecard
2015 Lancashire Lightning Won by 13 runs Northants Steelbacks Scorecard
2016 Northants Steelbacks Won by 4 wickets Durham Jets Scorecard
2017 Notts Outlaws Won by 22 runs Birmingham Bears Scorecard
2018 Worcestershire Rapids Won by 5 wickets Sussex Sharks Scorecard
2019 Essex Eagles Won by 4 wickets Worcestershire Rapids Scorecard
2020 Notts Outlaws Won by 6 wickets Surrey Scorecard
2021 Kent Spitfires Won by 25 runs Somerset Scorecard

Performance by countyEdit

Team 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Birmingham Bears RU QF QF Gp QF QF QF QF Gp Gp Gp Won SF Gp RU Gp Gp Gp QF
Derbyshire Gp Gp QF Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp SF Gp Gp
Durham Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp SF QF Gp QF Gp QF Gp Gp RU Gp QF Gp Gp Gp
Essex Gp QF Gp SF Gp SF Gp SF Gp QF SF QF QF QF Gp Gp Won Gp Gp
Glamorgan Gp SF Gp Gp Gp QF Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp QF SF Gp Gp Gp Gp
Gloucestershire SF Gp Gp QF RU Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp Gp Gp QF Gp QF QF SF Gp
Hampshire Gp QF Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Won SF Won SF SF SF Gp SF Gp Gp Gp SF
Kent Gp Gp Gp QF Won RU SF Gp QF Gp Gp Gp QF Gp Gp QF Gp QF Won
Lancashire Gp SF RU Gp SF QF QF QF SF Gp QF RU Won Gp Gp SF QF SF QF
Leicestershire SF Won SF Won Gp Gp Gp Gp Won Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp Gp QF Gp
Middlesex Gp Gp QF Gp Gp Won Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp Gp QF Gp Gp
Northamptonshire Gp Gp QF QF Gp QF SF QF Gp Gp Won Gp RU Won Gp Gp Gp QF Gp
Nottinghamshire Gp Gp Gp RU QF Gp Gp SF QF QF QF QF Gp SF Won QF SF Won QF
Somerset Gp Gp Won Gp Gp Gp RU RU RU SF QF Gp Gp Gp QF SF Gp Gp RU
Surrey Won RU SF SF Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp Gp RU SF Gp Gp QF Gp Gp RU Gp
Sussex Gp Gp Gp Gp SF Gp Won QF QF SF Gp Gp QF Gp Gp RU QF QF SF
Worcestershire Gp QF Gp Gp QF Gp Gp Gp Gp QF Gp QF QF Gp Gp Won RU Gp Gp
Yorkshire Gp Gp Gp QF QF Gp Gp Gp Gp RU Gp Gp Gp SF Gp Gp Gp Gp QF


  1. ^ "Vitality announced as new title partner for T20 cricket". England and Wales Cricket Board. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "ECB announce Vitality as new T20 Blast sponsor". www.thecricketer.com. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Recent Match Report - Worcestershire vs Sussex, Twenty20 Cup (England), Final | ESPNcricinfo.com". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Ali backs Twenty20". Skysports. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  5. ^ New-look English Twenty20 agreed, BBC Sport, 16 July 2008; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  6. ^ ECB unveils new Twenty20 tournament, CricInfo, 16 July 2008; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  7. ^ Freddie Wilde Blast promises to break 1m barrier, CricInfo, 14 May 2015; Retrieved 17 March 2018
  8. ^ "Vitality Blast 2020 fixtures: Edgbaston Finals Day to conclude domestic season". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 12 August 2020.