This Saturday, Edgbaston Stadium will host the first-ever Vitality Blast Off double-header to launch this summer’s T20 competition.
Four teams – Derbyshire, Lancashire, Bears and Yorkshire – will compete across two matches as part of a full day of T20 entertainment, with live music and more throughout the day.
Fans will be able to watch a host of international stars at the new showpiece launch event. Here’s a few who are set to be in action this Saturday.
Tickets are still available from only £25 for adults and £5 for under 16s, and fans can save £4 per ticket if purchased before midnight on Friday 19 May.
Chris Woakes – Bears
Born and bred in Birmingham, the double World Cup winner is set to play for the Bears in their home opener against Yorkshire at Blast Off.
He’s done it all for England and the Bears. A previous T20 Blast winner in 2014, Woakes has claimed 149 wickets in 138 T20 matches with best figures of 4/21.
Woakes played an integral role in the recent T20 World Cup victory in Australia back in November. And he’s now ready for Blast Off…
Haider Ali – Falcons
The Pakistan international batter will feature for Derbyshire at Blast Off, likely to open the batting and set the tempo for the Falcons.
Ali, one of the world’s most exciting young prospects at just 22-years-old, has played 35 matches for his country.
In 33 International T20 appearances, Ali has scored 499 runs, including three half centuries, one of which came against England at Emirates Old Trafford in 2020. Expect fireworks from Ali, he hit a 21-ball fifty this week in a warm-up match.
Colin de Grandhomme – Lightning
A former Bear, the New Zealand all-rounder will be back at Edgbaston but this time for Lancashire.
A bruising, broad-shouldered batter – and disciplined medium-pace bowler – de Grandhomme has experience in all three international formats and in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League (BBL).
In T20 cricket, de Grandhomme has scored over 4,000 runs striking at 156.90 whilst picking up 74 wickets.
Shan Masood – Vikings
Yorkshire’s new captain, the Pakistan international batter was a star at Derbyshire in 2022 and he’s now made the short move north to Headingley for this summer.
He has represented his country across all three formats and is a highlight experienced T20 player. In 145 matches, he’s scored 3,627 runs at an average of 30 with a high score of 103 not out.
He most recently featured for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup where his side finished as runners-up to England.
Paul Stirling – Bears
The Ireland international made an immediate impact at the Bears in 2022 when he bludgeoned a jaw-dropping 119 (nine fours, 10 sixes) on his Edgbaston debut.
His 46-ball ton against the Northants Steelbacks was the fastest recorded in professional cricket, including internationals, in England last year.
Now the 32-year-old is set to return to Birmingham for the opening few rounds of the T20 competition as overseas cover while Glenn Maxwell completes his IPL involvement.
Daryl Mitchell – Lightning
Lancashire will boast two New Zealand overseas stars when they arrive at Edgbaston on Saturday, with all-rounder Daryl Mitchell also in their line-up.
He’s scored more than 3,000 runs in T20 cricket – including 13 fifties – and played a key role when promoted to open at the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE during New Zealand’s run to the final, which included a match-winning 72 not out against England in the semis.
He experienced the Vitality Blast for the first time in 2021, playing eight matches for Middlesex – scoring 209 runs and picking up eight wickets. He was also drafted by Rajasthan Royals for the 2022 IPL.
Hassan Ali – Bears
He’s quickly become a fan favourite at the Bears and he’s set to make his Vitality Blast debut on Saturday.
The Pakistan quick has starred for T20 sides around the world and made 131 international appearances.
He’s taken almost 200 T20 wickets for sides including Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Super League (CSL).
Blast is back! Buy your tickets in advance & save
Vitality Blast T20 cricket is back! And fans can save £4 per ticket by purchasing in advance.
Next up is the big local derby against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday 23 June (6.30pm). Over 11,000 tickets have already been sold. Tickets Available from only £21, while groups of six or more can make further savings. Don’t miss it!