Lotus365 Lotus365 News T20 Blast Finals Day set for September due to World Cup clash

T20 Blast Finals Day set for September due to World Cup clash

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Edgbaston will host the Vitality Blast Finals Day on September 14 next year, a reversion to a late-season showpiece after this year’s July final, due to the impact that next summer’s T20 Men’s World Cup will have on the English season.

The Blast title was won this year by Somerset ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/vitality-blast-2023-1347399/essex-vs-somerset-final-1347700/full-scorecard), who completed their 15th win of the campaign in beating Essex in front of a capacity crowd at Edgbaston on July 15, only a fortnight after the completion of the tournament group stages.
The condensation of the tournament’s schedule had been made to ensure maximum availability of overseas players, amid the competing demands of the international and T20 franchise schedule – although even that was not sufficient to prevent the high-profile absence of Surrey’s Sunil Narine ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sunil-narine-s-mission-impossible-75-hours-two-continents-four-games-1386835) from the semi-finals, after he chose to remain with LA Knight Riders in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket in the USA.

Now, however, Finals Day looks set to take place several weeks after the tournament’s group stages and quarter-finals, with the T20 World Cup due to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June, and the fourth season of the Hundred set to begin in late July, a week earlier than this year’s event.

“The move to September has been made due to the impact next June’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup has had on our England Men’s and Women’s home international fixtures,” the ECB said in a press release. “The full men’s and women’s domestic schedule is to be released later this year.”

Despite being played outside of the height of the summer, more than 800,000 fans attended Blast fixtures across its six-week window, with the ECB reporting that the competition had enjoyed its second-highest advanced tickets sales ever (up 16% on 2022).
Somerset’s victory in the final, their first since 2005, drew the tournament’s largest viewing figures in over a decade, with an average audience of 427,000, while viewership for the quarter-finals and semi-finals were up 64% and 12% respectively on 2022.

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