Following last summer’s shortened Vitality Blast the competition returns to a 14-match group stage competition this summer with the counties split into North and South groups.
Notts Outlaws will bid to defend the title they won at Edgbaston last October when the defeat Surrey by six wickets.
Here are some common questions about the Vitality Blast to ensure you are across all the key details:
WHEN WILL THE VITALITY BLAST START?
This summer’s Vitality Blast will begin on Wednesday 9 June. Champions Notts Outlaws start their title defence on the opening night away to 2018 winners Worcestershire Rapids at New Road in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
WHAT IS THE FORMAT THIS SUMMER?
The Vitality Blast returns to a 14-match group-stage format with the First-Class Counties split into traditional North and South Groups.
Each county will therefore play seven matches at home, and seven matches away, with the top four counties in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals will be seeded with the higher-seeded team set to host their quarter-final. So, as an example, the top team in the North Group will host the fourth-ranked team from the South Group in the quarter-finals.
The four winners of the quarter-finals (24-27 August) progress to Finals Day. Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston on 18 September.
All knockout matches will have a reserve day should that be required.
WHICH COUNTIES ARE IN EACH GROUP?
North: Birmingham Bears, Derbyshire Falcons, Durham, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Notts Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids.
South: Essex Eagles, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex Sharks.
HOW CAN I WATCH AND FOLLOW?
Sky Sports is set to broadcast matches throughout the group stage including four matches over the opening four days of the tournament, which will include Notts Outlaws opening their title defence away to Worcestershire Rapids at New Road. The four quarter-finals are also set to be broadcast on Sky in addition to all the Finals Day action on 18 September.
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.
Following last year’s streaming of matches, the ECB will offer a full programme of all county’s live-streamed matches on ECB.co.uk again this year.
CAN I BUY TICKETS NOW?
Surrey Members have until the end of Sunday 7th February to guarantee guest tickets before tickets become available to previous purchasers at The Kia Oval. Following that window, any remaining seats will become available for general sale.
The health and safety of anyone attending matches this summer will remain the priority of the ECB and the First-Class Counties.
We continue to work closely with Government, and other sports, as we plan ways we can safely welcome supporters back to venues across England and Wales this summer.
Should the attendance of supporters at a Vitality Blast match be affected by COVID-19 restrictions, each host venue will have its own communicated ticket refund and rollback policy.
WHEN IS FINALS DAY AND HOW DO I BUY A TICKET?
Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston on Saturday 18 September.
If you don’t already have a ticket then you will have to wait to see if your team reaches Finals Day.
Finals Day is already a sell out after ticket holders from last summer, who were unable to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions, were given the option to roll their tickets over to this year.
Tickets will be set aside for the members and fans of the counties who qualify for Finals Day. Once the four teams have qualified those First-Class Counties who qualify will decide and communicate how those tickets will be available.