Hampshire & Somerset join Caribbean T20

London, England - The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that the 2010 Friends Provident t20 champions, Hampshire Royals, and runners up Somerset have accepted an invitation from the West Indies Cricket Board to take part in the Caribbean T20 from 10-23 January 2011.

The 2011 Caribbean T20 involves Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands and Combined Campuses & Colleges as well as Hampshire Royals and Somerset. The Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua will be the venue for the first round of Caribbean T20 matches while the final stages will be held at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The inaugural tournament took place in July and was won by Guyana.
 
Hampshire Royals won the Friends Provident t20, the ECB's domestic twenty20 competition, in a thrilling final in August at The Rose Bowl by virtue of losing fewer wickets than Somerset when both teams reached 173 from their 20 overs.

Ernest Hilare, WICB Chief Executive, said: "The WICB is delighted to have again partnered with the ECB on this progressive initiative. The participation of the two top Friends Provident t20 teams in CT20 will certainly enhance the Tournament and heighten the excitement. We look forward to keen contests between our Caribbean teams and Hampshire and Somerset and look forward to welcoming English fans to the fun and excitement of Caribbean style T20 cricket."
 
Steve Elworthy, ECB Director of Marketing & Communications, said: "The Caribbean T20 rewards Hampshire Royals and Somerset for their hard work throughout the 2010 Friends Provident t20 campaign and provides an excellent opportunity for both teams to experience playing in a different environment and test themselves against strong opposition. I would like to thank the West Indies Cricket Board for extending the invitation to both teams and wish them all the very best for what I'm sure will be a memorable fortnight of cricket for all involved."