Back with a bang
The Twenty20 Cup spectacular is back bigger then ever with its success showing no sign of abating with sell out crowds, bouncy castles and fireworks.
Counties have been given a shot in the arm by the competition and demand for tickets has again proved huge this year.
Surrey have already sold more than 100,000 tickets for their Twenty20 campaign and all four of Essex's home games are sell-outs.
There will also be full houses for next Monday's Roses clash between Yorkshire and Lancashire as well as Worcestershire's home clash with rivals Warwickshire on Wednesday.
All 18 counties are in action on Friday night with champions Leicestershire at home to Yorkshire at Grace Road in a televised game.
Foxes wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, whose performances in the event last year helped earn him a place in England's World Cup squad, said: "It's all about us expressing ourselves and showing no fear.
"Our success has been based on having effective gameplans and players thriving on the responsibility they are given within that plan.
"We face that same challenge again this summer, but the guys have every reason to believe we can be successful again."
Leicestershire have won the competition twice, in 2004 and 2006, with Surrey and Somerset the other winners.
Essex, the country's eminent one-day side at present, have tempted former Surrey captain Adam Hollioake out of retirement for the event and are rated as joint favourites along with Lancashire.
Essex begin at home to Sussex while Lancashire host Durham.
The competition builds towards the finals day at Edgbaston on August 4.