Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Blackwell: 'Cheers us on to Twenty20 glory'
SOMERSET'S big-hitting all-rounder Ian Blackwell is urging the county's fans to get behind the team again, as they prepare for this season's Twenty20 Cup.
The crash, bang wallop of the 20-over event has really captured the imagination since its inception and its popularity has been no better displayed than at the County Ground in Taunton.
Somerset's loyal fans have consistently turned out in their droves to cheer on the side, who returned from the Brit Oval with the trophy in 2005.
The Cidermen start their 2008 campaign against Northants at the County Ground next Wednesday (June 11, 5.30pm start) in the Midlands, Wales and West Group.
After a disappointing display in last season's competition, Somerset are aiming to lift the cup again and Blackwell is asking the fans to play their part.
He said: "Everybody at Somerset thoroughly enjoys it and the competition has really caught on with our home fans at the County Ground - there is no better place to play.
"There is nothing that we enjoy more than playing in front of a packed home crowd who cheer every run and wicket.
"We will be doing our best to win all of our games and send our supporters home happy.
"Hopefully we will reach the finals at the Rose Bowl as those of us who helped to win the Twenty20 Cup in 2005 will never forget that special day.
"At the County Ground we always get big crowds who are right behind us and we will be looking for them to cheer us on and get our campaign off to a flying start."
Director of cricket Brian Rose said: "Twenty20 is an isolated competition and one that you need a lot of energy to play particularly in the field so I think that we will have to look very carefully at the way we play it.
"Last season we didn't play very well in that competition so this year we are looking to do a lot better and will have an intelligent look at what our strategy will be for the teams that are playing in the Twenty20."
n Full list of fixtures: Northants (h) June 11, Glamorgan (a) June 13, Warwickshire (h) June 14, Glamorgan (h) June 17, Worcestershire (a) June 19, Gloucestershire (h) June 20, Worcestershire (h) June 22, Warwickshire (a) June 24, Northamptonshire (a) June 26, Gloucestershire (a) June 27.
Quarter-finals July 7, 8 or 9; semis and final at Rose Bowl July 26.