YORKSHIRE will start their latest quest for limited-overs silverware against Durham in the opening match of next year's NatWest T20 Blast.

The Vikings take on the Jets on Thursday, July 5 at Emerald Headingley, before travelling to Edgbaston on Sunday, July 8 to face last summer's runners-up Birmingham Bears.

Yorkshire have been handed three of the popular home Friday night fixtures – against Birmingham (July 27) and Northamptonshire Steelbacks (August 3) before concluding their North Division programme against defending champions Nottinghamshire Outlaws (August 17).

Other fixtures in 2018 include Roses rivals Yorkshire and Lancashire first going head to head on Friday, July 20 at Old Trafford, with the return taking place at Headingley on Thursday, August 9.

With a reduced capacity due to ongoing redevelopment at the Leeds venue, demand is set to be greater than ever.

The Vikings improved considerably in last summer's white-ball competitions from past seasons but fell short of lifting a title.

Their strike rate in the T20 Blast in particular was phenomenal and included a domestic record score of 161 off 73 balls by Adam Lyth in a Yorkshire best of 260-4 in their 124-run win over Northants.

Next year's competition nationally will begin with a repeat of last year's final between Nottinghamshire and Birmingham.

Notts completed a cup double in September when they overturned Birmingham's home advantage on finals day at Edgbaston with a 22-run victory.

The sides will kick off the 2018 edition on July 4, this time at Trent Bridge, as they once again vie for control of the North Division.

The competition occupies a mid-summer block for the second year in a row, with the entire group stage wrapped up in 45 days and culminating on August 17, when all but two of the 18 counties will play.

The quarter-finals are slated for consecutive days between August 23-26, with the last four returning to Edgbaston for the semis and final on September 15.

With the North Division supplying the last five winners, and also the last four runners-up, a response from the southern conference is long overdue.

Glamorgan and Hampshire, last year's beaten semi-finalists from the South Division, face each other in their first game at the Ageas Bowl on July 6.

Leicestershire, the country's most successful T20 side with three titles, start away to two-time winners Northamptonshire on July 4.

Meanwhile, the six-team women's Kia Super League runs from July 22 until August 18, with finals day at Hove on August 27.

Western Storm begin their title defence at home to Yorkshire Diamonds, with inaugural champions and last year's beaten finalists Southern Vipers facing Surrey Stars at Guildford in their first match.

There will be eight double-headers, where matches from the Blast and KSL are hosted back-to-back at the same venue, with Old Trafford (twice), Headingley, Edgbaston, Taunton, The Oval, the Ageas Bowl and Hove all participating.



Thur 5: Durham Jets (H)

Sun 8: Birmingham Bears (A)

Wed 11: Derbyshire Falcons (H)

Fri 13: Durham Jets (A)

Sun 15: Worcestershire Rapids (A)

Fri 20: Lancashire Lightning (A)

Fri 27: Birmingham Bears (H)

Sat 28: Derbyshire Falcons (A)

Tue 31: Leicestershire Foxes (H)


Fri 3: Northamptonshire Steelbacks (H)

Thur 9: Lancashire Lightning (H)

Fri 10: Nottinghamshire Outlaws (A)

Thur 16: Northamptonshire Steelbacks (A)

Fri 17: Nottinghamshire Outlaws (H)