Somerset to host Essex in Vitality Blast opener
- Credit: PA
Somerset will start their Vitality Blast campaign with a home match against Essex at Taunton on June 9.
The tournament is returning to a 14-match group stage format, with the first-class counties split into traditional North and South groups.
And Sky Sports is scheduled to broadcast a match on each of the first four days of the 2021 competition, as well as Somerset's clash with Gloucestershire on the last day of the group phase.
Vitality Blast Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston on September 18 and all fixtures will be available on BBC Local Radio stations, with extensive coverage also on 5 Live Sports Extra.
The Royal London Cup will return this summer, after a hiatus in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the final at Trent Bridge on August 19.
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Somerset, having won the competition at Lord's in 2019, will visit Devon on July 22 and then host Derbyshire on July 25.
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.
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“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.
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.
Somerset Vitality Blast fixtures
June 9: Essex (h); June 11: Surrey (h); June 15: Kent (h); June 18: Sussex (a); June 19: Glamorgan (h); June 23: Surrey (a); June 25: Hampshire (h); June 28: Kent (a); June 29: Essex (a); July 1: Gloucestershire (a); July 2: Middlesex (h); July 9: Hampshire (a); July 16: Glamorgan (a); July 18: Gloucestershire (h).
Royal London Cup fixtures
July 22: Devon (a); July 25: Derbyshire (h); July 28: Glamorgan (h); July 30: Nottinghamshire (a); August 1: Yorkshire (h); August 5: Surrey (a); August 8: Northamptonshire (a); August 10: Leicestershire (h); August 12: Warwickshire (a).