The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have today announced the full Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup schedule for the 2021 season.
This summer’s Vitality Blast is set to begin on Wednesday 9th June as Hampshire, aiming to reach a ninth Vitality Blast Finals Day, kickstart their campaign with an away clash against Kent Spitfires.
James Vince’s side will then travel to Chelmsford with Essex Eagles the opponents on Friday 11th June, before the season’s first ‘el clasicoast’ instalment at Hove arrives on Saturday 12th June. A further four away matches against Middlesex (Tuesday 15th June), Surrey (Friday 18th June), Gloucestershire (Sunday 20th June) and Somerset (Friday 25th June) round out Hampshire’s travel schedule for the competition.
Hampshire then return to The Ageas Bowl for their first home fixture of the campaign on Monday 28th June as they welcome Middlesex, whilst fellow London-based side Surrey will be the opponents two days later on Wednesday 30th June. A total of five matches will then be played in July – all hosted at The Ageas Bowl – with a mouth-watering double-header the highlight on Friday 16th July as Hampshire host Essex Eagles, followed by the final T20 ‘el clasicoast’ clash of the summer against Sussex Sharks.
Fixtures against Gloucestershire (Friday 2nd July), Somerset (Friday 9th July) and Glamorgan (Sunday 18th July) complete Hampshire’s Vitality Blast home schedule. The competition’s Quarter-Finals will then be decided in August, with Finals Day, held at Edgbaston once again this year, scheduled for Saturday 18th September.
The Royal London Cup will also return this season, following a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hampshire will begin their effort to reach a third successive List A Final at The Ageas Bowl on Thursday 22nd July with a clash against Essex Eagles.
The ‘el clasicoast’ rivalry will resume at List A level, with a home contest against Sussex Sharks set for Tuesday 27th July. Middlesex are the opponents for Hampshire’s first away fixture of the tournament on Friday 30th July, before a swift return to The Ageas Bowl to welcome Worcestershire for the side’s final home contest on Wednesday 4th August.
Hampshire will then conclude their group-stage with three consecutive away matches, including trips to Gloucestershire (Friday 6th August), Kent Spitfires (Sunday 8th August) and Durham (Thursday 12th August). The competition’s knockout stages will then begin on Saturday 14th August with the eventual finalists set to go head-to-head at Trent Bridge on Thursday 19th August.
ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, Neil Snowball, said: “The stage is set for an exciting and important summer of domestic cricket for the First-Class Counties and the women’s regional teams. I know how much county members and supporters eagerly anticipate the release of fixtures and I am pleased that we have been able to plan a complete schedule for men’s and women’s cricket.
‘The Vitality Blast has established itself as a much-loved tournament while the return of the Royal London Cup, alongside the remodelled County Championship for this season, will be warmly welcomed as we all look forward to the summer. I am also delighted that we will shortly release the schedule for the women’s Regional 50 over and T20 competitions. These competitions will not only showcase the deepening pool of talent in women’s cricket, but also further strengthen the professional pathway for our female players.’
Fans now have the opportunity to sign-up for priority access to Vitality Blast match tickets, ensuring early access to tickets later this month ahead of a scheduled general on-sale in March.
Hampshire Cricket and The Ageas Bowl are continuing to work hard to welcome fans back to the venue safely next year. All tickets purchased for matches in 2021 will be covered by a Ticket Refund Promise, which means that should fans be unable to attend because the match is cancelled, played behind closed doors or with limited capacity, a full refund will be given.
A range of hospitality packages will also be available for this summer’s fixtures, with supporters able to pre-register for priority access to book their package. To find out more and to pre-register, please visit www.ageasbowl.com/hospitality.
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, a stunning 171-bedroom hotel located at the home of Hampshire Cricket, is also available for bookings this summer. For more information, please visit www.ageasbowl.com/hotel.
For more information about 2021 fixtures at The Ageas Bowl, Hampshire Cricket’s Ticket Refund Promise and the work being done to plan for the safe return of fans this summer, please visit www.ageasbowl.com/cricket.