The Vitality T20 Blast 2018, which was earlier called the NatWest T20 Blast, will kick-start from July 4 and will go on till its Finals Day on September 15 with Nottinghamshire looking to defend the title they won last season. Get the latest Vitality T20 Blast betting tips for the 2017 season in the piece below.
It comes as no surprise that Nottinghamshire will kick-start the NatWest T20 Blast as favourites yet again, as they look to shrug all the underwhelming performances in their previous editions to go all the way.
Close on their heels will be Surrey, who had won the first ever edition of the Twenty20 Cup in 2003 but since then have runner-up twice and losing semi-finalists on three other occasions.
Yorkshire have rarely mounted much of a challenge when it comes to this format of the game but under the able stewardship of Jason Gillespie, a lot is expected out of them especially given how he led the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League last season. They are currently the third favourite.
Following them are Hampshire and Somerset who will both look to better their last year’s performances, while Warwickshire, also known as the Birmingham Bears for the purpose of the NatWest T20 Blast come just behind Yorkshire in that list.
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The Natwest T20 Blast is the resident T20 league in England and Wales, containing teams from both nations. This will be the fourth season of this wildly popular brainchild of the England Cricket Board.
The league consists of 18 teams divided into North and South Divisions of nine teams each. These teams play a total of 14 games, by playing six sides both home and away and playing the other two sides only one time each. The top four teams from each division then progress into the knockout rounds of the competition.
The 18 teams are the Birmingham Bears, the Derbyshire Falcons, the Durham Jets, the Essex Eagles, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, the Kent Spitfires, Lancashire Lightning, the Leicestershire Foxes, Middlesex, the Northamptonshire Steelbacks, the Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Somerset, Surrey, the Sussex Sharks, the Worcestershire Rapids and the Yorkshire Vikings.
The NatWest T20 Blast 2018 is scheduled to start on July 4 this year with a number of matches kicking off on the same day. A number of the county sides face each other on opening day with Gloucestershire up against Middlesex at Cheltenham, the Worcestershire Rapids facing Warwickshire at Worcester and Glamorgan going up against Hampshire in Cardiff.
It is scheduled to go on for a month and a half before the league rounds end on August 17. This will be followed by the quarter-finals that will be held on August 23, 24, 25 and 26 and the traditionally famous Finals Day on September 15. Edgbaston in Birmingham will host the Finals Day yet again.
The most successful team in the short history of the Natwest t20 Blast are the Leicestershire Foxes with three championships under their belts. They are followed by the Hampshire Royals and the Northamptonshire Steelbacks, both of whom have won two championships each.
The competition is ramped up even more with local and geographic rivalries among the counties prevailing even here while the historic England Wales rivalry still divides fans and players alike on both sides of the border. The Foxes may be leading the pack at this point but the league is highly competitive and there are teams hot on their heels. Those who are yet to win a single championship especially, will be looking to make it big this time around.
Latest odds associated with the Vitality T20 Blast 2018 outright winners here: