ECB Launches Under-19 T20 Competition

Grace Road will host the National Final of the new Twenty20 competition
Grace Road will host the National Final of the new Twenty20 competition
©REUTERS / Action Images

The England & Wales Cricket Board has revealed plans to launch a new Twenty20 cricket tournament for Under-19 cricketers in Durham, Kent, Surrey and Yorkshire.

As part of its goal to widen participation, the pilot project in those four counties will offer 15 to 19-year-olds opportunities to play, volunteer and select their own team name.

It begins on Bank Holiday Monday (26th May) when Spencer Spitfires host Sunbury Chieftains in Surrey's opening fixture.

In all, 61 teams will be in action competing in regional leagues with the goal of reaching county finals and a national final at Leicestershire's Grace Road on Monday, 1st September.

Teams are being encouraged to create a vibrant matchday experience with the incentive of tickets to the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston for the teams who achieve the most points, as voted for by the opposition in each match.

ECB’s Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, Mike Gatting explained the importance of the new competition.

"The 15 to 19 age group is a key area for the overall development of the grassroots game and our in-depth market research shows that teenagers want more playing opportunities and that clubs need to make themselves more 'teen friendly'.  

"This pilot project is designed to do just that, giving this age-group the cricketing experience that they want – fast lively matches, played with and against their friends, a great social atmosphere, and a chance to make their club look and feel different for one night a week."

© Cricket World 2014