Fixtures for the 2021 editions of the Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup have been announced, with the two white-ball competitions taking place between June and September.
This summer’s Vitality Blast will be kick-started by champions Notts Outlaws when they begin their title defence away to 2018 winners Worcestershire Rapids in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
The Royal London Cup will return this summer, following a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the schedule for the women’s Regional 50 over and T20 competitions will be announced shortly.
The Vitality Blast is set to begin on 9 June with the tournament returning to a 14-match group-stage format with the First-Class Counties split into traditional North and South groups.
Sky Sports is scheduled to broadcast a match on each of the first four days of the Vitality Blast, including the London derby between Middlesex and Surrey on the opening Friday night before the ‘el clasicoast’ clash between Sussex Sharks and Hampshire two days later.
Lancashire Lightning and Yorkshire Vikings will meet at Emirates Old Trafford on the penultimate day of the group stage and another derby clash between Somerset and Gloucestershire highlights the final day.
Vitality Blast Finals Day, which is a sell out after last summer’s ticket holders were given the option to roll their tickets over, will be staged at Edgbaston on 18 September.
The Royal London Cup final is set to be staged at Trent Bridge on 19 August with Somerset aiming to defend the title they won at Lord’s in 2019.
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.
The men’s 50-over competition will be preceded with 20 matches between First-Class Counties and National Counties from 20-22 July.
Women’s domestic cricket is set for a memorable summer with the staging of the Regional 50-over and T20 competitions in addition to the launch of The Hundred.
Forty-one female players have signed professional domestic contracts ahead of the summer to further establish the elite pathway for female cricketers.
ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “The stage is set for an exciting and important summer of domestic cricket for the First-Class Counties and the women’s regional teams.
“I know how much county members and supporters eagerly anticipate the release of fixtures and I am pleased that we have been able to plan a complete schedule for men’s and women’s cricket.
“The Vitality Blast has established itself as a much-loved tournament while the return of the Royal London Cup, alongside the remodelled County Championship for this season, will be warmly welcomed as we all look forward to the summer.
“I am also delighted that we will shortly release the schedule for the women’s Regional 50 over and T20 competitions. These competitions will not only showcase the deepening pool of talent in women’s cricket, but also further strengthen the professional pathway for our female players.”
The health and safety of anyone attending matches this summer will remain the priority of the ECB and the First-Class Counties.
The ECB continues to work closely with Government, and other sports, as it plans ways to safely welcome supporters back to venues across England and Wales this summer.
To sync this summer's domestic fixtures automatically to the calendar of your mobile phone and digital devices, click on this link: http://ql.e-c.al/DomesticFixtures