The County Championship takes a back seat on Friday night as the Twenty20 Cup returns with the Somerset Sabres favourites to win the cup for a second time.
The 2005 Twenty20 Cup winners have had a fantastic start to the season and are
currently top of the LV County Championship Division Two.
Darren Maddy inspired the Foxes to Twenty20 Cup glory
Despite missing out on a semi final place in the Friends Provident Trophy by just
one point the shortest form of the game will suit their big hitters with the Taunton
boundary no match for Justin Langer, Marcus Trescothick and Cameron White.
The competition looks fiercer then ever this year with a number of teams expected to challenge the Sabres, last seasons runner up Nottinghamshire, 2004 winners Surrey and Yorkshire are the other teams expected to reach the Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday, August 12th.
The current champions Leicestershire look unlikely to reach the Finals day for
the first ever time without their inspiration leader Darren Maddy who left Grace
Road for Warwickshire during the winter.
With no competing attentions this summer the tournament looks set to be bigger
then ever with a host of counties already reporting numerous sold out games, Essex
have already sold out games against Sussex, Kent and Hampshire while their final
game against Surrey is all ticket with only 200 left on general sale.
Essex CCC Chief Executive David East said: “Once again the Essex membership and cricket fans have rushed to see what is becoming one of the greatest spectacles of the summer sporting calendar. I really urge people not to miss out on these great occasions by booking the remaining tickets for our Thursday night fixtures as soon as possible.”
The counties are split into three divisions and play eight matches with the top two from each division along with the two best third place teams qualifying for the quarter-finals on Tuesday, July 17th and Wednesday, July 18th.
The winners of the quarter-finals will advance to finals day at Edgbaston Saturday, August 4th.