Hectic start sees Steelbacks play four of their seven home group games in opening nine days of Blast

Steelbacks have been handed three straight home matches in the space of four days to start their bid for Vitality T20 Blast glory this summer - including an early showdown with reigning champions Notts Outlaws.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 7:05 am
Reigning Blast champions Notts Outlaws, who include former Steelbacks player Ben Duckett in their ranks, visit the County Ground on June 13

David Ripley's men face a hectic first week of the tournament, as they play six matches in the opening nine days - including four of their seven scheduled home dates, which is not ideal.

It is hoped Covid restrictions will have eased enough to allow supporters in for the opening clash which sees the Steelbacks host Worcestershire Rapids on Friday, June 11, before Ben Duckett's Outlaws come to town on Sunday, June 13.

The quickfire treble of home matches is completed by date with Birmingham Bears on Tuesday, June 15, before the Steelbacks play their first away game of the group stage two nights later against Derbyshire (June 17).

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Steelbacks head coach David Ripley

A Friday night trip to New Road to take on Worcestershire Rapids follows 24 hours later (June 18) before Leicestershire Foxes visit the County Ground for a Sunday afternoon match on June 20.

Northants then have a three-day rest before another block of five matches in seven days, starting with a trip to Durham on Wednesday, June 23.

There is another Friday night date at Wantage Road on June 25 when Lancashire Lightning are the visitors, before the Steelbacks head north the following morning for a Saturday date with Yorkshire.

The County make the short trip to Leicestershire Foxes on Tuesday, June 29, before hosting Durham in Northampton a day later (June 30).

The competition takes a break for a round of County Championship fixtures, with Northants hosting Yorkshire over four days from July 3.

The T20 briefly returns with a July 9 trip to Old Trafford to face Lancashire Lightning for the Steelbacks, before the County again get the whites out to play Glamorgan in a red-ball game from July 11.

Once that's been played, the Steelbacks wrap up their T20 group campaign with their final two group fixtures.

They entertain Derbyshire on Friday, July 16, before wrapping up their 14-match section at Edgbaston against Birmingham Bears, just as they did last season when the batting heroics of Tom Taylor and Graeme White saw them book a place in the quarter-finals.

On top of the Blast, the Royal London One Day Cup returns to the schedule this summer, having been cancelled last year due to Covid-19, and will be played concurrently with the new The Hundred competition in July and August.

The Steelbacks have been placed in Group B, with the top four of nine qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Northants have been handed home matches against Glamorgan (July 25), Derbyshire (August 1), Somerset (August 8) and Leicestershire (August 12), while they travel to Yorkshire (July 28), Surrey (July 30), Warwickshire (August 6) and Nottinghamshire (August 10).

Due to The Hundred, the match against Yorkshire will be played at Scarborough, while the Nottinghamshire clash is set to be staged at Grantham.

STEELBACKS FIXTURES 2021

Steelbacks Vitality T20 Blast Fixtures 2021

Friday, June 11: Steelbacks v Worcestershire Rapids, County Ground

Sunday, June 13: Steelbacks v Notts Outlaws, County Ground

Tuesday, June 15: Steelbacks v Birmingham Bears, County Ground

Thursday, June 17: Derbyshire v Steelbacks, Derby

Friday, June 18: Worcestershire Rapids v Steelbacks, New Road

Sunday, June 20: Steelbacks v Leicestershire Foxes, County Ground

Wednesday, June 23: Durham v Steelbacks, Emirates Riverside

Friday, June 25: Steelbacks v Lancashire Lightning, County Ground

Saturday, June 26: Yorkshire v Steelbacks, Headingley

Tuesday, June 29: Leicestershire Foxes v Steelbacks, Grace Road

Wednesday, June 30: Steelbacks v Durham, County Ground

Friday, July 9: Lancashire Lightning v Steelbacks, Old Trafford

Friday, July 16: Steelbacks v Derbyshire, County Ground

Sunday, July 18: Birmingham Bears v Steelbacks, Edgbaston

Royal London One Day Cup Fixtures

Warm-up match: Tuesday, July 20: Bedfordshire v Steelbacks, venue TBC

Sunday, July 25: Steelbacks v Glamorgan, County Ground

Wednesday, July 28: Yorkshire v Steelbacks, Scarborough

Friday, July 30: Surrey v Steelbacks, Kia Oval

Sunday, August 1: Steelbacks v Derbyshire, County Ground

Friday, August 6: Warwickshire v Steelbacks, Edgbaston

Sunday, August 8: Steelbacks v Somerset, County Ground

Tuesday, August 10: Nottinghamshire v Steelbacks, Grantham

Tuesday, August 12: Steelbacks v Leicestershire, County Ground