The raft of international players that this season’s T20 Blast has attracted makes this the most star-studded competition in some time. Now, in a rare positive PR move, the ECB have released their England pin-ups for Friday night’s round of fixtures.
While Chris Gayle has been a whirlwind success at Somerset in just two matches, smashing 243 runs in that time, the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler’s availability to their respective counties adds a brief dose of home-grown glamour to the competition.
Every England player bar Jimmy Anderson has been released to play for their county this Friday night, making the prospect of a T20 accumulator a tantalising one.
The below five selections pay out at a shade under 17/1 should they all land, with each match boasting an England star:
This Roses clash, which pits third-place Yorkshire against second-bottom Lancs in the North Group, sees Root and Adam Lyth return for the white half of the Pennines, with Buttler back in the Lancashire fold.
It’s the former pair that should make the telling contribution though, adding international quality to a superior squad also containing Tim Bresnan, Adil Rashid, Jonny Bairstow and Australian Glenn Maxwell.
Moeen Ali is proving himself to be a candid interviewee.
In his latest question-and-answer session, the all-rounder admitted to struggling in the Headingley Test against New Zealand, revealed his disappointment at being dropped for the upcoming one-day series and stated his intention to start bowling the doosra again.
His reappearance for Worcestershire, along with that of Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, makes them curious outsiders at Northants, who have lost both of their previous outings.
Leicestershire may be on a high after winning their first County Championship match for over two years, but the sight of Stuart Broad at the top of his mark for Notts should burst their bubble.
The English T20 skipper bowled beautifully in the New Zealand Test series and joins a formidable Notts outfit also including Alex Hales, James Taylor, Darren Sammy and Ben Hilfenhaus.
Essex sit rock bottom of the South Group but, with Alastair Cook back to boost their batting lineup, should be taken to better an inconsistent Surrey outfit that haven’t quite seemed capable of harnessing their talent-bursting squad.
Lord’s hero Stokes dons the coloured kit for Durham, who top the North Group with three wins from five matches.
The all-rounder’s inclusion is as timely for the north-east club as Hashim Amla’s departure from Derbyshire is unwanted.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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