There was a real fear at the ECB that, after the fireworks fizzled out and the slider on the music volume was turned down, the hype around the T20 Blast would fall flat (there wasn’t really any fear, they have a failing international side to fix first).
Here at Ladbrokes, our news team decided to do our bit to keep the excitement surrounding the competition at kids-visiting-Disney-for-the-first-time levels.
To do this we’ve handpicked a cherry-ripe treble that pays out at around 23/4 should all three of our chosen punts land:
Warwickshire, renamed the Birmingham Bears in T20, are making their seasonal bow in the competition and it just so happens to be in front of the Sky cameras.
Ian Bell is with England, Jonathan Trott is taking a second leave of absence and Jim Troughton is injured, leaving the Bears desperately short of senior batting. Chris Woakes is on short-term release for England duty, but on balance Warwickshire’s squad is far weaker than the visitor’s.
Although Joe Root and Gary Ballance are away from Yorkshire, calling on internationals like Kane Williamson, Tim Bresnan and Johnny Bairstow give the Vikings the edge.
Ed Joyce’s Sussex are two for two at the start of the competition and, with those T20 cogs now well-oiled, should be too strong for the winless Hampshire.
The one-time Royals suffered a shock defeat to Glamorgan, who picked up their first ever T20 win at the Rose Bowl last time out and are yet to settle on a T20 formula – as their recent signing of Owais Shah on a game-by-game basis indicates.
Northants may be last year’s T20 champions but that victory shocked even them and, as three-time winners, Leicestershire’s greater nous in the competition is picked to prevail.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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