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2021 VITALITY BLAST – INFORMATION GUIDE

Following last summer’s shortened Vitality Blast the competition returns to a 14-match group stage competition this summer with the counties split into North and South groups.

Notts Outlaws will bid to defend the title they won at Edgbaston last October when the defeat Surrey by six wickets.

Here are some common questions about the Vitality Blast to ensure you are across all the key details:

WHEN WILL THE VITALITY BLAST START?

This summer’s Vitality Blast will begin on Wednesday 9 June. Champions Notts Outlaws start their title defence on the opening night away to 2018 winners Worcestershire Rapids at New Road in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Somerset’s first game is against Essex Eagles at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Wednesday 9th June.

WHAT IS THE FORMAT THIS SUMMER?

The Vitality Blast returns to a 14-match group-stage format with the First-Class Counties split into traditional North and South Groups.

Each county will therefore play seven matches at home, and seven matches away, with the top four counties in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.

The quarter-finals will be seeded with the higher-seeded team set to host their quarter-final. So, as an example, the top team in the North Group will host the fourth-ranked team from the South Group in the quarter-finals.

The four winners of the quarter-finals (24-27 August) progress to Finals Day. Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston on 18 September.

All knockout matches will have a reserve day should that be required.

WHICH COUNTIES ARE IN EACH GROUP?

North: Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Notts Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids.

South: Essex Eagles, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex Sharks.

HOW CAN I WATCH AND FOLLOW?

Sky Sports is set to broadcast matches throughout the group stage including four matches over the opening four days of the tournament, which will include Notts Outlaws opening their title defence away to Worcestershire Rapids at New Road. The four quarter-finals are also set to be broadcast on Sky in addition to all the Finals Day action on 18 September.

All Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup fixtures will be available via BBC Local Radio stations with extensive coverage also on 5 Live Sports Extra.

Following last year’s streaming of matches we are also set to offer a full programme of live-streamed (non-broadcast) matches again this year.

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