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The Twenty20 Cups back with a bang

The summer is about to blast off with the start of the all-singing, all-dancing Twenty20 Cup on Bank Holiday Monday with Middlesex starting their defence against Surrey at Lords.

Eight fixtures across the country will fire up this year’s campaign with holders Middlesex Panthers in action at Lord’s against Surrey Brown Caps.

The tournament will retain its four official partners from last year – npower, Marston’s, totesport and Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank.

This year sees the tournament split into four stages and culminates with Finals Day on Saturday August 15 at Edgbaston.

The first stage will run from May 25 to June 4 with the second stage, which lasts a week, starting on June 22. So by June 28 all eight quarter-finalists will be decided. The quarter-finals will take place over three days in late July from 27-29 with two games scheduled for July 28.

As ever the counties are putting their power behind this competition and this year sees the stakes raised even higher than before.

The MCC have newly-installed, state-of-the-art £2.7m retractable floodlights ready to use for the late fixture between holders Middlesex Panthers and Kent Spitfires on May 27.

Nottinghamshire Outlaws have a variety of activities planned for their first stage home fixtures including an attempt for the World’s Largest Picnic at their National Family Week as well as a special guest appearance by one of their most famous personalities, Robin Hood.

Durham Dynamos are offering their student population an offer on Friday May 29 that will be hard to refuse which includes a ticket, a pint and entry to a local nightclub. On May 31 they switch their attention to the family market and are offering a family afternoon which includes pony rides, face painters and the “best seat in the house” which is back by popular demand.

Glamorgan Dragons are putting on a Ladies Day on May 30 and treating the fairer sex to a day of champagne and pampering while a Beer and Balti is on offer on June 4.

Essex Eagles are playing host to local commercial radio DJ – DJ Dom while Gloucestershire Gladiators are offering free coaching to budding youngsters as well as a Barbeque and face painting.

All this in addition to the action on the field promises that this year’s Twenty20 Cup is going to be as big as ever.

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