About T20 Blast
T20 Blast is among the world’s top T20 professional tournaments. However, this tournament is now known as the Twenty20 Cup. Its name has been changed a lot of times due to commercialization of this tournament. Every time this tournament gets a new sponsor, it gets its name changed. It has been known as T20 Blast since 2014. Now it is known as Twenty20 Cup and it is one of the top domestic tournaments played in England and Wales. It was created by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003. T20 Blast was the first domestic or international T20 tournament in this world. At that time no national cricket boards were interested in this short format of cricket. Now it is known all over the world. This tournament is established and played among the English and Welsh first-class counties.
Foundation, Format & Teams
There was a cricket tournament named Benson & Hedges Cup in England. This tournament was discontinued for some reasons in 2002. After its discontinuation, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to start a new short format cricket tournament. To reduce the costs of the matches and to increase the interest of the audience, the One-day matches were shortened to 20 overs. This tournament is also known as the pioneer of the T20 format in international and professional cricket. At that time in England, the popularity of cricket was decreasing due to the long format of cricket. To boost the popularity and to regain the audience interest, the ECB decided to launch this new cricket format in a new tournament in 2003. The format and rules of qualification followed in this tournament are group stage and knockouts. As we have mentioned that the name of this tournament was changed many times. From 2010 to 2013 it was known as Friends Provident t20 Cup or Friends Life T20 Cup. From 2014 to 2017, it was named as Natwest T20 Blast. In 2018, this tournament was sponsored by the biggest insurance company of England Vitality, so the commercial sponsor changed the name of Natwest T20 Blast to Vitality Blast. A total number of 18 teams participated in this tournament. All of these teams are sold in merchandise models by the management to private owners. All of these teams represent cities, states, and counties of England and Wales. Not only the name of this tournament but also its format was changed many times according to the demand of sponsors, management and the audience interest. It was proposed to allow 20 teams to participate in the tournament. In which 18 teams were supposed to represent the counties and the rest of two teams will be overseas teams. But later on after the launch of Indian Premier League in 2009, the proposal was collapsed. After that, the management of the T20 Blast changed the format by dividing the Northern and Southern Counties into two major groups called South and North.
Prize Pool & Revenue
As you know that T20 Blast or Vitality Blast is the world’s oldest domestic professional T20 tournament of all time. Along with it, this tournament is also considered and counted among the highest paying T20 domestic tournaments. The total prize money awarded to the winning teams, runner up teams and players is around $2.5 million. In this amount, the winning team receives around $450,000 as reward money.
Top Teams & Players
If we talk about the top teams and players of these tournaments then many names come to mind. Some teams have won the title most of the time, while some of the teams are top finalists. If we talk about the most titles won by a team, then Leicestershire is the team which has won the champions title three times. On the other hand, it is hard to evaluate the top bowler and batsman of this tournament because it has been organized for more than 17 years. The latest winner of this tournament is Notts Outlaws who defeated Surrey by 6 wickets in 2020. In the inaugural tournament of T20 blast in 2003, Surrey Lions was the winner. Surrey Lions defeated Warwickshire Bears by 9 wickets in 2003, which was the inaugural tournament of T20 Blast.