Cockspur Twenty20 finals in offing
The ECB have confirmed the four finalists who have reached the inagural Cockspur Club Twenty20 finals day on Sunday September 28 at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff are Bracebridge Heath (Midlands), South Northumberland (North), Stanmore (London) and St Just (South West and Wales).
Finals day will be televised by Sky Sports and the format replicates Twenty20 Cup finals day, this year held at the Rose Bowl, with two semi-finals followed by the final.
The four teams are drawn from the 25 ECB-accredited Premier League competitions across England and Wales this season and more than 350 teams played in local competitions to arrive at the regional stages.
Overseas players and professional players are not eligible for the competition, which is designed as a platform for the best home-grown recreational talent.
Speaking ahead of the Cockspur Club Twenty20, ECB chief executive David Collier said: “Twenty20 cricket has been a phenomenal success for cricket and we are delighted to see the finals day format replicated in a major club competition, played at a world-class venue and broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Recreational cricket in England and Wales has never been stronger, with a 27 per cent increase in participation last year. We wish all four teams the very best of luck and look forward to a great day of cricket.”
David Smith, Cockspur's global brand director, added: "Cockspur are delighted to expand their involvement in ECB recreational cricket by sponsoring the inaugural Cockspur Club Twenty20.
"The fact that finals day will be broadcast live on Sky Sports is testament to how popular this format of the game is. Both Cockspur and ECB identified the need for a structured Twenty20 competition in the recreational sector and we are thrilled that finals day is almost upon us."
The four club captains are all looking forward to their Cardiff outing.
Mark Fell of Bracebridge Heath CC, perennial champions of the Readers Lincolnshire Premier League said: "We are honoured to be a part of the first Cockspur Club Twenty20 and hope that we do our club proud at this prestigious event. We hope that this is the first of many CCT20s and wish the ECB every success in the future."
John Graham, South Northumberland CC, said: "Twenty20 is becoming a huge part of the game. At South Northumberland CC we want to be as successful in this format as we do in league cricket. This is a great opportunity and we are looking forward to it.”
Marc Reingold, Stanmore CC said: "We are delighted to have got this far in the competition, especially in its first year. We are now confident of putting up a good show for our supporters, plenty of whom will be making the journey up the M4."
Gareth May of St Just CC, England’s most westerly cricket club, said: “We are proud to have reached the Cockspur Cup National Finals Day in Cardiff this Sunday. We will try our best for or club and for Cornwall cricket to bring the trophy back here.”
Cockspur are in the first season of a three-year deal with international venues as official spirit of Test match grounds that sees the brand occupying significant advertising placements at venues, as well as a plethora of marketing benefits to enhance product sales, sampling and exclusivity in the spirits sector.
From 1987-90, and latterly since 2004, Cockspur have been proud sponsors of the ECB National Club Knockout Cup, named the Cockspur Cup, the final of which was held last Sunday at Southgate CC with previous winners Kibworth CC (Leicestershire) beating Malden Wanderers CC (Surrey) by five wickets in a thrilling match which went down to the last over.