I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that my twitter feed has been somewhat swamped with football tweets over the past 4 weeks.  I make no attempts to hide my complete and utter love for sports (did I mention the Tour De France came to town this week? more about that here), so when I was asked if I fancied taking the family to see my beloved Essex Eagles play at home last Friday I couldn’t help but have a little squeal and then reply with a big fat YES PLEASE!

In case you haven’t heard of it before, T20 is a fast paced 20 over match that has literally revolutionised the game of cricket.  It’s such a great way to get people interested in the game as there is always something exciting going on, and then once you’ve got them hooked the rush of T20 you can introduce them to longer 40 over and county championship games too. It’s pretty much like stabilizers for sport.

NatWestT20BLAST_Logo_Artwork_CMYKThis season has seen a reshuffle in the format of the NatWest T20 Blast, with now 87 for the 126 group stage games taking place on a Friday night.  This means more beer, more singing and much more fun!

We were given a family ticket to see the action, but as my two girls are still only 2 and 5 we took them with us for the first hour and then a very lovely grandparents came and took them off our hands at 8pm when they started to get sleepy, leaving us free to sample a few pints of the Oranjeboom on offer!

My daughters are following closely in our footsteps and adore sport too. S is a huge football fan (Leyton Orient thank you very much) but little O has really taken to the game of cricket and always asks for it to be put on the TV, so she was over the moon to be at a real life game.  I will certainly be taking them back for a daytime game over the summer holidays.

Friday night’s action was a top of the table clash between the Essex Eagles and Surrey Sharks.  I love the banter at cricket, not to mention the fact that you can drink alcohol in view of the pitch, and I was crying with laughter each time an Essex fielder made it over to the boundary near our pitch-side seats.  Obviously it goes without saying that an Essex win made my night, but having the chance to boo Kevin Pitersen when he came into bat for Surrey, and then see him be stumped off a wide, was almost too good to be true.

T20 really isn’t cricket as you know it to be.  It is cricket obviously, the main rules are the same as they have always been, but this is fast pasted, with lots of cheering, singing, flag waving and balls flying all about the place.  It is a perfect way to introduce children to the wonder of the game, and great for a night out this friends too.

ECB NatWest T20 Blast Launch event 170414

For more info and tickets visit www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast

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