T20 Blast: Edgbaston to host ‘Blast Off’ double-header to launch 2023 competitors

Hampshire won the T20 Blast in 2022

Hampshire won the 2022 T20 Blast in a thrilling last-ball finish against Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston

Next summer’s T20 Blast will be launched for the first time with a double-header at Edgbaston on 20 May.

The ‘Blast Off’ will feature Birmingham Bears against Yorkshire Vikings, while Derbyshire Falcons will face 2022 runners-up Lancashire Lightning.

Organisers hope several members of England’s T20 World Cup-winning side will be involved on the day.

“Blast Off is a great way to get the Vitality Blast started,” said Bears and England all-rounder Moeen Ali.

“There is nothing quite like the buzz of Edgbaston when it is packed full of fans. I know that the players feed off that and everyone will want to put on a show.”

The full domestic fixture list for 2023 will be announced on 30 November.

But the Blast Off, featuring four North Group sides, will be the only T20 fixtures on the opening day of the competition, which was won by Hampshire this summer.

“We want to go one better than last…