England’s domestic T20 competition is set to begin on the 20th of May, 2023. It will continue for about 56 days before ending on July 15. It’s a long tournament, and the number of teams is significantly higher than in other T20 leagues. But what’s the format of the league, and how many matches will each team play? What’s the format of group matches, and what about the knockouts?
Read to the bottom of the page to find all the answers!
T20 Blast 2023 Groups
A total of 18 teams will feature in this year’s Blast tournament. They have been divided into two groups, with each group having 9 teams. Let’s take a look at both the groups:
The North group has the following 9 teams:
- Birmingham Bears
- Derbyshire Falcons
- Lancashire Lightning
- Leicestershire Foxes
- Northants Steelbacks
- Notts Outlaws
- Worcestershire Rapids
- Yorkshire Vikings
South Group contains the underlying 9 teams:
- Essex Eagles
- Hampshire Hawks
- Kent Spitfires
- Sussex Sharks
Number of Group Matches for Each Team In the T20 Blast
Each team will play 14 games in the group stages. Out of these 14, 7 will be home, and the other 7 will be away matches. There will be 63 league matches in each of the two groups. Therefore, a total of 126 group matches will be held. The knockout stage will have 7 games. So, Vitality Blast 2023 will have a total of 133 matches.
Group Stage Format of the Vitality Blast
As mentioned above, all the 18 teams will play 14 games each in the group phase. You may be thinking that if there are 9 teams in each group, then how can each team play 14 games? Ideally, the group should follow the double round-robin format. Each team should face every other team twice and play 16 group matches.
But that’s not the case in T20 Blast. Let’s understand the reason for each team playing 14 matches in the group phase. In a group, a team will face every other team at least once. But a side will contest only 6 teams twice. The team will play the other two teams just once. So, the total number of group matches for a particular team will be:
Now, another question that arises is; if each team is playing 14 matches, then how does the sum of league games become 63? Let’s understand it with some simple maths. Each group has 9 teams, and every team plays 14 matches. So, the total number of games per group will be:
Since there are two groups, the total league games will be:
Most of the T20 leagues in the world follow the playoff format after the group stage. But that’s not the case in T20 Blast. In this tournament, the top 4 teams from each group will go through to the knockout stage. These 8 teams will compete in the quarter-finals.
The first quarter-final will be played between the table topper of the South group and the 4th position team of the North group. The top team in the North group will lock horns with the 4th ranked team of the South group in quarter-final 2. In the third quarter-final, the second-ranked team of the North group will be up against the third-ranked team of the South Group. The 4th and last quarter-final will be contested between the #3 team of the North group and #2 teams from the South group.
The winners of the 4 quarter-finals will proceed to the semis. Usually, the two semi-finals and the final are played on different days. But there’s another unique thing about the T20 Blast 2023. Both the semi-finals and the final are played on the same day. It’s called the finals day, and it witnesses the final 3 matches of the season.