THE wait is over for Somerset County Cricket Club supporters with the publication today of the fixtures for the Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup.
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.
Each county will play seven matches at home, and seven matches away, with the top four counties in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.
The last eight will be seeded with the higher-seeded team set to host their quarter-final. The four winners of the quarter-finals (24-27 August) progress to Finals Day which will be staged at Edgbaston on September 18.
The South Group contains: Somerset, Essex Eagles, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex Sharks.
Somerset begin their campaign with a clash against Essex Eagles under the lights at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Wednesday, June 9. This is quickly followed by two further home fixtures against Surrey (Friday, June 11) and Kent Spitfires (Monday, June 15).
The derby matches against Gloucestershire will take place at The Bristol County Ground on Thursday, July 1 and Taunton on Sunday, July 18.
Somerset’s full Vitality Blast fixture list: Wednesday, June 9: Essex Eagles (H); Friday, June 11: Surrey (H), Tuesday, June 15: Kent Spitfires (H); Friday, June 18: Sussex Sharks (A); Saturday, June 19: Glamorgan (H); Wednesday, June 23: Surrey (A); Friday, June 25: Hants (H); Monday, June 28: Kent (A); Tuesday, June 29: Essex (A); Thursday, July 1: Gloucestershire (A); Friday, July 2: Middlesex (H); Friday, July 9: Hants (A); Friday, July 16: Glamorgan (A); Sunday, July 19: Gloucestershire (H).
The Royal London Cup will return to the domestic schedule this summer following a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 18 First-Class counties have been randomly drawn into two groups of nine teams.
Somerset are in Group B with: Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Glamorgan, Yorkshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.
Each county will play eight group-stage matches – four at home and four away – with the top three counties in each group progressing to the knockout stages. The group winners automatically qualify for the semi-finals where they will meet the winners of the two quarter-finals. The final will be held at Trent Bridge on Thursday, August 19.
Somerset won the trophy on a memorable day at Lord’s in 2019 and begin their defence of the title against Derbyshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Sunday, July 25. During the competition, they will also welcome Glamorgan, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire to Taunton.
Royal London Cup dates: Sunday, July 25: Derbyshire (H); Wednesday, July 28: Glamorgan (H); Friday, July 30: Nottinghamshire (A); Sunday, August 1: Yorkshire (H); Thursday, August 5: Surrey (A); Sunday, August 8: Northants (A); Tuesday, August 10: Leicestershire (H); Thursday, August 12: Warwickshire (A). Play-offs: August 14. Semi-finals: August 17. Final: August 19.