SKY SPORTS will show each county, including Worcestershire, at least three times this summer, with 65 live fixtures from the Clydesdale Bank 40, LV=County Championship and Friends Life t20.
The season starts with a repeat of the 2011 Clydesdale Bank 40 final between champions Surrey Lions and Somerset, two of the most dynamic and exciting teams in the game. The Friends Life t20 competition begins when three-time champions Leicestershire Foxes play against local rivals Nottinghamshire Outlaws, who will include former Leicestershire star James Taylor. Two matches from the LV=County Championship will be shown this summer, including the champions Lancashire at Sussex.
The live schedule includes:
• Clydesdale Bank 40: Coverage begins on 4 May and features 35 live group matches, including 21 day-nighters, both semi finals and the final live from Lord’s in September. For the first time, Sky Sports will show the Netherlands who play against Gloucestershire in Amstelveen live on 27 July.
• Friends Life t20: Friends Life t20 is back to a format of 10 group games with the 18 counties split into three regional groups. Sky Sports will show 25 games live, including 7 day-nighters, all four quarter-finals and for the first time, Finals Day is live from the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff on 25 August.
• LV=County Championship: The first of two matches from the LV=County Championship to be shown live on Sky Sports is Lancashire at Sussex on 9-12 May, which is eight days prior to England’s first Test of the summer. Sky Sports will also cover the final round of matches in September.
County cricket is part of Sky Sports’ live cricket schedule for 2012, which includes all of England’s home Investec Test Series, NatWest Series One-Day Internationals and NatWest International T20 matches against the West Indies and South Africa. Sky Sports will also show England’s NatWest International ODI matches against Australia and an ODI against Scotland in August.
The England Women’s team, current holders of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, will feature in four NatWest Women’s International t20 matches live on Sky Sports over the summer. They will play two matches against the India Women’s side in June, live from Canterbury and then Chelmsford. September sees England face the West Indies Women’s team in two t20 matches at Emirates Durham ICG and then Old Trafford.
Paul King, Cricket Executive Producer for Sky Sports, said: “Summer 2012 looks set to be one of our best ever and there are so many stories in the county game. Can Somerset finally win a trophy? Are the glory days back at Old Trafford after Lancashire’s County Championship win? Will there be another surprise winner of the t20? Our commitment to cricket continues with England looking to retain that number one spot in Test cricket and there’s the challenge of the Aussies in the one-day game. There are internationals in Edinburgh and Belfast, four live women’s games and the best of the amateur teams in the Cockspur Cup finals day. I can’t wait”
In the Sky Sports commentary box for county cricket are some of the biggest names from the sport including Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Bob Willis, David Lloyd, Michael Holding, Nick Knight and Paul Allott. County coverage is presented by Ian Ward and Charles Colvile with daily reports, news and views featured on Sky Sports News and skysports.com.
Viewers can also keep up-to-date with Sky Go which allows Sky TV customers with Sky Sports access across a range of devices. Customers are be able to watch live streaming of every Sky Sports channel on laptops, computers, tablet and mobile devices. Sky Sports customers will be able to watch an outstanding line-up of live cricket on the move and free of charge.