The English County cricket is one of the most formidable domestic cricket in the world. This domestic tournament has all the formats of the game that is being played among all the counties taking part in it. The domestic T20 cricket from the last year changed its face and was named as the NatWest T20 Blast. Previously this tournament was named as the Friends Life T20 but due to modernization in the T20 leagues this game shifted gears and comes up in a new more exciting packaging known as the NatWest T20 Blast. This new league was born in the Year 2014 and the NatWest T20 Blast 2015 will be the 2nd edition for this competition. The first competition was a hit among the players as well as the audience. In the 1st edition of the tournament the all the teams brought some great competitive cricket and at the end of the tournament it was the Birmingham Bears who won the tournament and emerges as the winners.
In total there are 18 counties fighting for the title of the being the best T20 side in the English cricket. These 18 teams are divided in two different divisions which are fighting for the cup. The two different divisions are known as the North group and the South group. The 9 teams in this tournament will face each other in the group twice. The League runs in the format of home and away matches as each team will be meeting each other twice and will be looking forward in winning the important points. In this tournament the home and away format is made for the 6 teams in the group while the team plays once against each other for 2 teams so as to make the total number of matches played in the league stage to be 14. The draw of the format is done through lottery to decide which team will be playing the matches in home and away format or just a single match. For a win in the league stadium the team is awarded a 2 point while if the match gets abandoned both the teams will share 1 point each. For a loss the team is not awarded any point. Later after the league stage of the tournament gets over the top 4 teams from both the groups will move forward to the knock stage of the tournament. Here the teams play the quarter-finals and semi-finals to reach the final and the two teams fight for the ultimate glory.
The teams that are taking part in this tournament are the Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham Jets, Essex Eagles, Glamorgan Dragons, Gloucestershire Gladiators, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Middlesex, Nothamptonshire Steelbacks, Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex Sharks, Worcestershire Rapids and the Yorkshire Vikings. These teams are divided into two different groups based on their division of play.
The North Division comprises of teams Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham Jets, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Nothamptonshire Steelbacks, Nottinghamshire Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids and Yorkshire Vikings. The South Division comprises of the teams Sussex Sharks, Surrey, Somerset, Middlesex, Kent Spitfires, Hampshire, Gloucestershire Gladiators, Glamorgan Dragons, and Essex Eagles.
This year the tournament starts from 15th May with Durham and Northamptonshire playing against each other while the defending champions will be playing their first game on 22nd of May. The last match of the league stage will be played on 24th of July. The knockout stages of the tournament will be starting from 12th of August and the final will be played on 29th of August in the Edgbaston Birmingham.