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Teenagers to play in new NatWest T20 Blast-style competition

Thursday 14th May 2015

As this season’s new NatWest T20 Blast campaign gets underway, Kent captain Rob Key is backing a new campaign to get more teenagers playing the T20 format at grassroots level.

23 clubs in Kent have already 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 pilot project last summer involving four counties (Kent, Surrey, Yorkshire and Durham) which attracted nearly 60 clubs and was won by Kent's Bexley Rangers (pictured above).

Kent captain Rob Key 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.”

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.

ECB Chief Operating Officer Gordon Hollins said: “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.”

Kent’s Bexley Rangers were crowned the inaugural champions of the 2014 competition last September, beating Surrey’s Sunbury Chieftains in the final with England bowler Stuart Broad presenting the trophy and medals (pictured above).

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/U19T20or use #U19T20 on Twitter.

The teams registered in Kent are: Bexley Rangers, Bexleyheath, Blackheath, Broadstairs, Bromley Common, Carribean Mix, Catford & Cyphers, Cowdrey, Dartford, Dartfordians, Folkestone, Frindsbury, Holmesdale, Horsmonden, Horton Kirby, Old Elthamians, Old WIlsonians, Orpington, Rainham, Sidcup, Tunbridge Wells Borderers, Whitstable.