The NatWest T20 Blast is back for its third season, which will start from the 15th of May this year. With tournament now just a few weeks away, let us take a look at the NatWest T20 Blast Squads of the 18 franchises from Wales and England, which will be participating in the league.
Speaking of the tournament, NatWest T20 has got a rather odd format, with 18 teams split in two groups of nine, titled North and South division. Each team will play six other sides at home and away, while facing the other two teams just once. The group matches take place over a span of three months.
The top four teams from each group will proceed to the knockout stage, where quarterfinal matches take place. Another interesting thing about the tournament is that the semifinal and the final are both played on the same day, usually at Edgbaston.
Last year, it was Lancashire Lightning who won the tournament, defeating Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the final by three wickets.
Unlike the Indian Premier League, in the NatWest T20 Blast, only two overseas players can feature in the starting 11 on the match day. All the teams have invested well in picking up their international players, with some of the names being quite prominent in the T20 format.
To list a few names, Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum certainly lead the way when it comes to batting, respectively for Somerset and Birmingham Bears. Interestingly enough, they also happen to have the record of highest scores in a single innings.
Australian internationals have also made their presence felt in the league, with the likes of Aaron Finch playing for Yorkshire Vikings, who is one of the leading batsmen in the T20 format.
James Faulkner, who took the most wickets in the competition last with the defending champions from Lancashire, will also be playing this year. Apart from this, Shaun Tait and Glen Maxwell can also be expected to join their respective franchises soon, following their IPL commitments.
Pakistani players have also been included in the tournament, with Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz and many more being picked up the franchises. Moreover, the three leading names in Sri Lankan cricket – Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will also be featuring in the NatWest T20 blast.Apart from this, Kyle Abott, Kane Williamson, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy will also be joining the tournament.
With such a star studded line-up in the NatWest T20 Blast Squads, in addition to the talented pool of local talents, the T20 cricket in the United Kingdom is set to be revitalized.
NatWest T20 Blast Squads list for 2016:
Mark Adair,Tim Ambrose, Keith Barker, Ian Bell (captain), Varun Chopra,Rikki Clarke, Freddie Coleman, Laurie Evans, Recordo Gordon, Sam Hain, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Ateeq Javid, Richard Jones, Alex Mellor, Jeetan Patel (Overseas), Ed Pollock, William Porterfield, Josh Poysden, Boyd Rankin, Luke Ronchi (Overseas, Twenty20), Sunny Singh, Aaron Thomason, Jonathan Trott, Andrew Umeed, Jon Webb, Ian Westwood, Chris Woakes, Chris Wright
Neil Broom,Andy Carter, Greg Cork, Ben Cotton, Matthew Critchley, Chris Durham, Will Davis, Wes Durston (limited-overs captain), Scott Elstone, Luke Fletcher (loan from Nottinghamshire), Billy Godleman (Championship captain), Rob Hemmings, Harvey Hosein, Alex Hughes, Chesney Hughes,Tom Knight, Wayne Madsen, Jonathan Marsden, Tom Milnes, James Neesham (Overseas, T20), Tony Palladino, Tom Poynton Hamish Rutherford (Overseas), Ben Slater, Tom Taylor, Shiv Thakor, Adam Wheatcroft, Harry White
Usman Arshad, Scott Borthwick, Ryan Buckley, Jack Burnham, Brydon Carse, Peter Chase, Graham Clark, Paul Collingwood (Championship captain), Paul Coughlin, Jamie Harrison, John Hastings (Overseas), Keaton Jennings, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, Barry McCarthy, Gordon Muchall, Philip Mustard,Graham Onions, Stuart Poynter, Ryan Pringle, Gurman Randhawa, Michael Richardson, Chris Rushworth, Rammy Singh, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman (one-day captain), James Weighell, Mark Wood
Aaron Beard, Ravi Bopara (limited-overs captain), Nick Browne, Alastair Cook, Matt Dixon, James Foster, Daniel Lawrence, David Masters, Jaik Mickleburgh, Adam Milne (Overseas, for T20 in July), Thomas Moore, Graham Napier, Aron Nijjar, James Porter, Matt Quinn, Wahab Riaz (Overseas, T20), Jesse Ryder (Overseas), Callum Taylor, Ryan ten Doeschate (Championship captain), Kishen Velani, Tom Westley,Ashar Zaidi
William Bragg, Kieran Bull, Chris Cooke, Dean Cosker, Aneurin Donald, Michael Hogan, Colin Ingram, James Kettleborough, Jeremy Lawlor, David Lloyd, Craig Meschede, Jack Murphy, Dewi Penrhyn Jones Harry Podmore (loan from Middlesex until 25 May), Jacques Rudolph(Overseas, capt), Andrew Salter, Nicholas Selman, Ruaidhri Smith, Shaun Tait (Overseas, T20), Timm van der Gugten, Graham Wagg, Mark Wallace
Cameron Bancroft (Overseas, until May), Ian Cockbain, Chris Dent,Brandon Gilmour, Patrick Grieshaber, Miles Hammond, Tom Hampton, Peter Handscomb, George Hankins, Benny Howell, Michael Klinger (Overseas, one-day capt, from May), Chris Liddle, Hamish Marshall, Craig Miles, Kieran Noema-Barnett, Liam Norwell, David Payne, Gareth Roderick (Championship captain), Josh Shaw (loan from Yorkshire), Tom Smith, William Tavare, Jack Taylor, Matt Taylor,Andrew Tye (Overseas, T20)
James Adams, Shahid Afridi (Overseas, for T20), Hamza Ali, Tom Alsop, Yasir Arafat (loan to Somerset), Gareth Berg, Michael Carberry, Mason Crane, Liam Dawson, Fidel Edwards, Sean Ervine, Ryan McLaren (Overseas), Lewis McManus, Darren Sammy (Overseas, for T20 from 2 June-early July), Will Smith, Ryan Stevenson, Brad Taylor, James Tomlinson, Reece Topley, James Vince(captain), Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal, Adam Wheater, Chris Wood
Adam Ball, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Hugh Bernard, Sam Billings, Alex Blake, Mitchell Claydon, Matt Coles, Fabian Cowdrey, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Sean Dickson, David Griffiths, Calum Haggett, Charlie Hartley, Matt Hunn, Tom Latham (Overseas), Sam Northeast (captain), Imran Qayyum, Kagiso Rabada (Overseas, Jun-Jul), Adam Riley, Adam Rouse, Darren Stevens, Ivan Thomas, James Tredwell, Sam Weller
James Anderson, Tom Bailey, Karl Brown, Nathan Buck, Jos Buttler, Glen Chapple, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft (captain), Alex Davies, George Edwards, Gavin Griffiths, Haseeb Hameed, Kyle Jarvis, Simon Kerrigan, Danny Lamb, Toby Lester, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Alviro Petersen Luke Procter, Luis Reece, Tom Smith, Neil Wagner (Overseas)
Umar Akmal (Overseas, T20), Aadil Ali, Michael Burgess, Zak Chappell, Mark Cosgrove (Championship captain), Neil Dexter, Ned Eckersley, Ollie Freckingham, Lewis Hill, Paul Horton, Clint McKay (Overseas), Jigar Naik, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Mark Pettini (limited-overs captain), Ben Raine, Angus Robson, Rilee Rossouw (Overseas, T20), Rob Sayer, Atif Sheikh, Charlie Shreck, Jamie Sykes, Robert Taylor, Tom Wells, Wayne White
Martin Andersson, Andrew Balbirnie, Nick Compton, Stephen Eskinazi, Steven Finn, James Franklin (One-Day Cup captain), James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Max Holden, Dawid Malan (T20 captain), Mitchell McClenaghan (Overseas), Brendon McCullum (Overseas, limited-overs), Eoin Morgan, Tim Murtagh, Ravi Patel, Harry Podmore (loan to Glamorgan until 25 May), Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Toby Roland-Jones, George Scott, John Simpson, Nathan Sowter. Paul Stirling, Adam Voges (Overseas, Championship captain), Robbie White
Muhammad Azharullah, Josh Cobb, Steven Crook, Ben Duckett, Richard Gleeson, Rob Keogh, Rory Kleinveldt (Overseas), Richard Levi, Jake Libby (loan from Nottinghamshire), George Munsey, David Murphy, Robert Newton, Monty Panesar, Seekkuge Prasanna (Overseas, primarily for T20), Adam Rossington, Ben Sanderson, Olly Stone, Alex Wakely(captain), Graeme White,Saif Zaib
Jake Ball, Jackson Bird (Overseas), Stuart Broad, Matthew Carter, Daniel Christian (Overseas, T20 captain), Luke Fletcher (loan to Derbyshire), Will Gidman, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Brett Hutton, Jake Libby (loan to Northamptonshire), Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, Chris Read (Championship/one-day captain), Billy Root, Greg Smith, Brendan Taylor, Riki Wessels, Luke Wood, Sam Wood
Tom Abell, Jim Allenby (limited-overs captain), Yasir Arafat (loan from Hampshire), Alex Barrow, Josh Davey, Ryan Davies, Chris Gayle (Overseas, T20, 1-19 Jun), Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Adam Hose, Mahela Jayawardene (Overseas, T20), Jack Leach, Michael Leask, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Chris Rogers (Overseas, Championship captain), Tim Rouse, Ollie Sale, Peter Trego, Marcus Trescothick, Roelof van der Merwe, Max Waller, Sam Wyatt-Haines
Zafar Ansari, Gareth Batty (captain), Dwayne Bravo (Overseas, for T20 until July), James Burke, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Steven Davies, Jade Dernbach, Matthew Dunn, Aaron Finch (Overseas, for July), Ben Foakes, Mark Footitt, Arun Harinath, Aneesh Kapil, Azhar Mahmood, Conor McKerr, Stuart Meaker, Chris Morris (Overseas, for T20 until July), Mathew Pillans, Ravi Rampaul, Jason Roy, Kumar Sangakkara (Overseas), Dominic Sibley, Freddie van den Bergh, Gary Wilson
Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Ben Brown, Peter Burgoyne, Craig Cachopa, Harry Finch, George Garton, Lewis Hatchett, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Callum Jackson, Chris Jordan, Ed Joyce, Matt Machan, Steve Magoffin, Tymal Mills, Chris Nash, Mustafizur Rahman (Overseas, T20), Michael Rippon, Oliver Robinson, Phil Salt, Ajmal Shahzad, Ross Taylor (Overseas), Luke Wells, Stuart Whittingham, Luke Wright (captain)
Kyle Abbott (Overseas, from July), Moeen Ali, Ed Barnard, Joe Clarke, Ben Cox, Brett D’Oliveira, Tom Fell, Matt Henry (Overseas, until July), Alex Hepburn, Alex Kerverzee, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Joe Leach, Daryl Mitchell (captain), Charles Morris, George Rhodes, Chris Russell, Mitchell Santner (Overseas, T20), Jack Shantry, Josh Tongue, Ben Twohig, Ross Whiteley
Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Andrew Gale (Championship captain), Ryan Gibson, Travis Head (Overseas, from mid-July), Andrew Hodd, Jack Leaning, Alex Lees (limited-overs captain), Adam Lyth, James Middlebrook, Steven Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Will Rhodes, Joe Root, Josh Shaw (loan to Gloucestershire), Ryan Sidebottom, James Wainman, Matthew Waite, David Willey, Kane Williamson (Overseas, 9 Jun-18 Jul)