England’s NatWest T20 Blast cricket league launches its second season Friday, and fans can watch live online free as Birmingham Bears open their title defense against Nottinghamshire Outlaws, a side tapped as a top contender to knock Birmingham off the throne.
For information on how to watch the Birmingham Bears vs. Notts Outlaws match in free streaming video live online from Trent Bridge, home of the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, see the information at the bottom of this article.
The May 15 Birmingham vs. Nottinghamshire match starts at 6:30 p.m. in England — that’s 1:30 p.m. United States Eastern Time, 10:30 a.m. Pacific.
Check out the video above for an entertaining preview of the 2015 NatWest T20 Blast, featuring England all-rounder and TV personality Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff.
Unlike the Indian Premier League T20 cricket competition, which played one or two group stage matches every day from April 8 to May 17 this year, the NatWest T20 Blast plays almost exclusively on weekends, with the bulk of competition scheduled for Friday evenings.
And while the IPL is comprised of just eight teams, the T20 Blast has 18 teams divided into North and South divisions. The top four teams in each division qualify for the quarterfinals of the knockout round.
The NatWest T20 Blast closes out with a single day tripleheader on Saturday, August 29, with both semifinal matches played during the day, at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. local time. The two winners meet to decide the championship that same evening, in the final match, starting at 6:45 p.m.
For the second half of the season, the Birmingham Bears will feature New Zealand one-day captain Brendon McCullum, one of the most exciting players in world cricket. McCulllum played his final game with the Chennai Super Kings of the IPL on Tuesday, departing for England to join his New Zealand side as it prepares to open its tour of England with the First Test Match on May 21.
But once the New Zealand tour concludes with the only T20 on June 23, McCullum will stay in England and join Birmingham of the NatWest T20 blast.
As for Nottinghamshire, they’ve added internationals Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe and Vernon Philander of South Africa to compliment West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy along with a solid roster of English domestic players, including opening batsman Greg Smith as well as seamer — and Nottingham native — Luke Fletcher, both new additions for Outlaws in 2015.
ESPN3, the online-only service of ESPN, will stream the Birmingham Bears vs. Nottinghamshire Outlaws NatWest T20 Blast opener live online at this link. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of most major internet service providers, and many minor ISPs as well. For a full list, check this link, or try the instructions at this link if you do not have an account with an ISP that carries ESPN3. Viewers in the U.K. can watch the match via Sky Sports.
[Image: Gareth Copley/Getty Images]