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Madsen backs U19 NatWest T20 Blast-style competition

Thursday 14th May 2015
& News
Written by Danny Painter

As this season’s new NatWest T20 Blast campaign gets underway, Derbyshire Falcons Captain Wayne Madsen is backing a new ECB campaign to get more teenagers playing the T20 format at grassroots level.

Seventeen clubs in Derbyshire have signed up to the first national NatWest Club T20 for Under-19s competition, with more than 475 teams set to be involved across the country.

The national roll-out of the competition follows a successful ECB pilot project last summer involving four counties (Kent, Surrey, Yorkshire and Durham) which attracted nearly 60 clubs.

The pilot project attracted positive feedback from clubs with one in three seeing lapsed players returning and more than half the players involved saying they were more likely to play club cricket this season as a result.

Wayne Madsen said: “It’s vital that we build on the success of NatWest T20 Blast by inspiring more youngsters to take up cricket. A competition like this gives teenagers a great opportunity to emulate the professional game – and get as much pleasure and enjoyment out of the T20 format as we do.”

Gordon Hollins, Chief Operating Officer, at the ECB added: “This competition is all part of a wider ECB initiative to encourage greater grassroots participation and address player ‘drop-off’ in the 16-19 age-range as teenagers find work or move into higher education.

“Last year’s pilot project was a great success and showed that there’s a real appetite in junior cricket for a dynamic, fast-paced format which mirrors our own county game – and also allows club sides to replicate the NatWest T20 Blast competition in full – with coloured clothes, team nicknames and music all part of their match-day experience.”

Bexley Rangers were crowned the inaugural champions of the 2014 competition last  September, beating Studhoe of Durham in the semi-final then Surrey’s Sunbury Chieftains.

This year’s competition will run across the country from May to August from Cornwall to Cumbria climaxing with around 30 county finals days in September.

Clubs will again be supported by the Play-Cricket.com website, providing players with statistics, fixtures and results.

For more information go to www.ecb.co.uk/U19T20  or use #U19T20 on Twitter.

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