Twenty20 Cup

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Twenty20 Cup
Countries England England
Wales Wales
Administrator ECB
Format Twenty20
First tournament 2003
Last tournament 2009
Tournament format Group stages, then knockout
Number of teams 18
Most runs England Jonathan Trott (1,564)[1]
Most wickets Pakistan Yasir Arafat (64)[2]

The Twenty20 Cup was a cricket competition for English and Welsh first-class counties from 2003 to 2009.

In 2010, it was replaced as the domestic Twenty20 competition by the Friends Provident t20.


When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the England and Wales Cricket Board needed another one-day competition to fill its place. The cricketing authorities were looking to boost the game's popularity with the younger generation in response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship. It was intended to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game.

The first Twenty20 Cup was held in 2003 and was marketed with the slogan “I don’t like cricket, I love it” (itself a line from the popular cricket-themed pop song Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc). It was won by the Surrey Lions.

Competition format

The Twenty20 format, twenty overs for each team, means a game can be completed in under three hours, making it more palatable for children and families than longer matches. Many games also feature additional activities for the spectators to provide more entertainment, such as paddling pools, bouncy castles, themed areas, bowling speed-guns, and prizes for catching a 6 ball. On Finals Day, there is also a performance by a major pop act – Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, Girls Aloud and Sugababes have performed on past Finals Days, and Mutya Buena performed on the 2007 Finals Day at Edgbaston.

Many games are played in twilight, again to enhance family spectator appeal and to allow attendance after work and school. They also feature numerous musical 'stings' for exciting events, such as the dismissal of a batsman, or the hitting of a boundary.


Most of the standard rules of cricket are retained, but the emphasis is on fast scoring and fast moving cricket. There are limits on fielding positions, and the boundaries are shorter, to encourage aggressive batting. Batsmen get a Free Hit if the bowler bowls a "No Ball" by overstepping the popping crease. There is also a strict 1 minute 30 second time limit on the amount of time a new batsman has to reach the crease. In the event of the scores being equal at the end of the overs of knockout matches, there is a "bowl-off", similar to a penalty shoot out, except the bowlers have to bowl at unguarded stumps. The winners are the team with the most hits.

As of the 2008 season, each county team will play 10 games, playing each team in the group once home and once away.[3] Teams receive two points for a win, none for a defeat and one for a tie or a no result if the game can't be completed. This stage takes around three weeks to complete, with teams playing several ties each week. The top two from each division along with the two best third-place finishers qualify with for the quarter-finals, with the group winners and best second place team having home ties. The winners of the quarter-finals go through to "Finals Day", a bumper day of Twenty20 when the semi-finals and final of the competition take place on the same day at the same venue.


The first stage involves the eighteen counties being split into three divisions, based on their location in Great Britain.

Each division contains six counties and are divided up as follows:


Team Twenty20 Cup Friends Life t20
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Derbyshire Grp Grp QF Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp
Durham Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp SF QF Grp QF Grp QF
Essex Grp QF Grp SF Grp SF Grp SF Grp QF SF
Glamorgan Grp SF Grp Grp Grp QF Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp
Gloucestershire SF Grp Grp QF RU Grp Grp Grp Grp QF Grp
Hampshire Grp QF Grp Grp Grp Grp QF Won SF Won SF
Kent Grp Grp Grp QF Won RU SF Grp QF Grp Grp
Lancashire Grp SF RU Grp SF QF QF QF SF Grp QF
Leicestershire SF Won SF Won Grp Grp Grp Grp Won Grp Grp
Middlesex Grp Grp QF Grp Grp Won Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp
Northamptonshire Grp Grp QF QF Grp QF SF QF Grp Grp Won
Nottinghamshire Grp Grp Grp RU QF Grp Grp SF QF QF QF
Somerset Grp Grp Won Grp Grp Grp RU RU RU SF QF
Surrey Won RU SF SF Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp Grp RU
Sussex Grp Grp Grp Grp SF Grp Won QF QF SF Grp
Warwickshire RU QF QF Grp QF QF QF QF Grp Grp Grp
Worcestershire Grp QF Grp Grp QF Grp Grp Grp Grp QF Grp
Yorkshire Grp Grp Grp QF QF Grp Grp Grp Grp RU Grp


The event has been held annually towards the end of the cricket season in England since 2003.

Surrey won the inaugural event against Warwickshire Bears, in front of a sell out crowd at Trent Bridge, in July 2003.

Leicestershire Foxes and Hampshire are the only teams to have won the competition more than once.

Year Final
Held at Winners Result Runners-up
Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on 19 July 2003 Surrey
119 for 1 (10.5 overs)
Won by 9 wickets
Warwickshire Bears
115 (18.1 overs)
Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 7 August 2004 Leicestershire Foxes
169 for 3 (19.1 overs)
Won by 7 wickets
168 for 6 (20 overs)
The Oval, London, on 30 July 2005 Somerset Sabres
118 for 3 (14.1 overs)
Won by 7 wickets
Match reduced to 16 overs per innings due to rain
Lancashire Lightning
114 for 8 (16 overs)
Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on 12 August 2006 Leicestershire Foxes
177 for 2 (20 overs)
Won by 4 runs
Nottinghamshire Outlaws
173 for 8 (20 overs)
Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 4 August 2007 Kent Spitfires
147 for 6 (19.3 overs)
Won by 4 wickets
Gloucestershire Gladiators
146 for 8 (20 overs)
The Rose Bowl, Southampton, on 26 July 2008 Middlesex Crusaders
187 for 6 (20 overs)
Won by 3 runs
Kent Spitfires
184 for 5 (20 overs)
Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 15 August 2009 Sussex Sharks
172 for 7 (20 overs)
Won by 63 runs
Somerset Sabres
109 (17.2 overs)


Centuries in the Twenty20 Cup

Rank Player Team Runs Balls Season Against 4s 6s
1 Graham Napier Essex Eagles 152* 58 2008 Sussex Sharks 10 16
2 Cameron White Somerset Sabres 141* 70 2006 Worcestershire Royals 14 6
3 Michael Lumb Hampshire Hawks 124* 69 2009 Essex Eagles 14 4
4 Cameron White Somerset Sabres 116* 53 2006 Gloucestershire Gladiators 7 9
5 Ian Thomas Glamorgan Dragons 116* 57 2004 Somerset Sabres 11 7
6 Graeme Hick Worcestershire Royals 116* 65 2004 Northamptonshire Steelbacks 11 6
7 Andrew Symonds Kent Spitfires 112 43 2004 Middlesex Crusaders 18 3
8 Lance Klusener Northamptonshire Steelbacks 111* 59 2007 Worcestershire Royals 10 6
9 Darren Maddy Leicestershire Foxes 111 60 2004 Yorkshire Phoenix 8 6
10 Graeme Hick Worcestershire Royals 110 49 2007 Northamptonshire Steelbacks 10 8
11 Jim Allenby Leicestershire Foxes 110 58 2009 Nottinghamshire Outlaws 7 8
12 Ian Harvey Yorkshire Phoenix 109 55 2005 Derbyshire Phantoms 9 7
13 Ian Harvey Yorkshire Phoenix 108* 59 2004 Lancashire Lightning 16 2
14 Marcus Trescothick Somerset Sabres 107 57 2008 Worcestershire Royals 15 3
15 Ben Smith Worcestershire Royals 105 45 2005 Glamorgan Dragons 12 6
16 Graeme Smith Somerset Sabres 105 56 2005 Northamptonshire Steelbacks 9 5
17 Luke Wright Sussex Sharks 103 45 2007 Kent Spitfires 11 6
18 Dawid Malan Middlesex Crusaders 103 54 2008 Lancashire Lightning 10 6
19 Lou Vincent Lancashire Lightning 102* 63 2008 Derbyshire Phantoms 11 3
20 Murray Goodwin Sussex Sharks 102* 65 2007 Essex Eagles 9 5
21 Stuart Law Lancashire Lightning 101 58 2005 Yorkshire Phoenix 12 3
22 Vikram Solanki Worcestershire Royals 100 48 2009 Glamorgan Dragons 14 2
23 Ian Harvey Gloucestershire Gladiators 100* 50 2003 Warwickshire Bears 13 4
24 Mal Loye Lancashire Lightning 100 55 2005 Durham Dynamos 10 5
25 Hamish Marshall Gloucestershire Gladiators 100 55 2007 Worcestershire Royals 10 6
26 Alastair Cook Essex Eagles 100* 57 2009 Surrey 11 4
27 Ronnie Irani Essex Eagles 100* 61 2006 Sussex Sharks 13 2
28 Greg Smith Derbyshire Phantoms 100* 62 2008 Yorkshire Carnegie 12 2

See also


  1. ^ "Most Runs in England Twenty20 Competition". CricketArchive. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Most Wickets in England Twenty20 Competition". CricketArchive. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  3. ^ 2008 fixtures announced – Media Releases – News – ECB
  4. ^ Previously known as the Yorkshire Phoenix.
  5. ^ Previously known as the Middlesex Crusaders.

External links

  • ECB site
  • cricket20
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