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T20 is here to stay

T20: There's a lot of hype behind the shortest format of the game

THE VOICE of Sport has taken in three Vitality Blast T20 fixtures to date and it is easy to understand the hype behind the shortest format of the game.

I have taken in matches at Surrey’s Kia Oval and at the Mecca of the sport – Lord’s – and seen full houses on both occasions during what has been a hot and World Cup dominated summer.

The Vitality Blast at the Kia Oval has become one of London’s biggest summer nights out – and seven huge fixtures will take place there.

A Surrey fan said after yet another breathless game: “It was a great match, the first time my son has ever been to a cricket match. Fabulous atmosphere and down to the wire result – couldn’t have been better.”

Young fans can also enjoy themselves as Surrey provide giveaways, autograph signings, games, coaching, specific catering for kids – including children’s-sized portions – and unrivalled views of the T20 action. And it’s great to see a host of women take in T20. I saw what appeared to be hundreds leaving their place of work for the three-hour fixture.

The format has also caught the imagination of West Indies stars with the likes of Dwayne Bravo (Middlesex) and Carlos Brathwaite (Kent) committed to short-term contracts.

The magic of T20 is obvious. Good weather, result cricket and players providing innovation with both bat and ball and in the field.

The lucrative Indian Premier League is the ultimate T20 competition but the Vitality Blast is not far behind.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) got it right when it announced Vitality as the new title partner of T20 Blast, International T20 and recreational T20 cricket, supporting the game for men and women.

The visionary health and life insurance company has signed a four-year deal to sponsor ECB’s domestic T20 Blast as well as key grassroots T20 tournaments.

The league’s final takes place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on September 15, and crowds will be out to see if the Nottinghamshire Outlaws will remain champions.

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