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Cricket: Aussies featuring in the 2024 T20 Blast

While Australians have found opportunities limited to feature in The Hundred during the English summer, plenty more will be playing in the T20 Blast.

The Blast is somewhat unusually spread over a lengthy period between late May and mid-September, with the group stages being completed in mid-July before the competition is parked ahead of the knockout matches.

That gap is likely to see players come and go due to availability, with international commitments sure to have a major impact.

Somerset were crowned champions in 2023, edging out Essex by 14 runs at Edgbaston, Birmingham, with Aussie all-rounder Daniel Sams featuring for the beaten Eagles.

. What: 2024 T20 Blast
. Where: Venues across England and Wales
. When: 30th May 2024-14th September
. Odds:
Nottinghamshire 7.00, Surrey 7.50, Essex 8.00, Somerset 8.50, Lancashire 9.00

Shining Sams returns to aid Eagles

All-rounder Sams returns to feature for Essex, who will be hoping to claim their second Blast title, having been crowned champions back in 2019 and they are 8.00 to go one better than they managed last season.

Left-armer Sams, who has played in 10 T20 internationals for Australia could come up against Marnus Labuschagne in the South Group, with the latter having agreed a deal to feature for Glamorgan across all formats.

Sams passed the 400-run mark for Essex last season and also took 25 wickets as he enjoyed a superb season that was only blighted by the narrow miss in the tournament final.

Gloucestershire also feature in the South Group and could have two Aussies in their side, with former Test opener Cameron Bancroft playing in all formats for the county, while Beau Webster has been contracted, initially, for the Blast group stages.

Hampshire are also set to field a pair of Australians, with top-order batter Ben McDermott joined by seamer Michael Neser for the initial stages of the Blast campaign and the Hawks are 11.00 to be crowned champions for a record fourth time.

McDermott made more than 400 runs for the Hawks in the 2023 Blast, with team-mate James Vince the leading runscorer overall with a magnificent tally of 670.

Seamer Xavier Bartlett has been cleared to play for Kent in their first eight Blast fixtures after missing out of the Australia squad for the T20 World Cup and he will be joined by fellow Aussie Wes Agar.

Bartlett was the leading wicket-taker in the most recent Big Bash League season and broke into the Australia white-ball set-up as a result and his Kent side are 9.50 to top the South Group this season.

Sean Abbott is set to play for 7.50 outright chances Surrey, but Aaron Hardie has been withdrawn after initially agreeing a deal to feature at The Oval, while Sussex have both Daniel Hughes and Nathan McAndrew on their roster.

North Group barren by comparison

While there are plenty of Aussies on show in the South Group, the North Group sees only three of the nine teams having Australias among their ranks.

Durham had hoped to have both Scott Boland and Ashton Turner available to boost their bid for a first-ever title, but the former is now sidelined by a heel injury and has been forced to end his latest spell in English county cricket.

Turner made a slightly disappointing 284 runs for Durham last season and will hope to inspire his 13.00 to top the North Group this time around.

Lancashire have reacted to not having Nathan Lyon for the whole of the domestic season, by snapping up all-rounder Chris Green for their Blast campaign, with the vastly experienced 30-year-old having already featured in the competition for both the Birmingham Bears and Middlesex.

Green, who has won one T20I cap for Australia, combines his off-spin with some useful lower-order hitting and his Lightning outfit are 9.00 to win the Blast for the second time.

Leicestershire are the final team to have an Aussie among their ranks, with Peter Handscomb in the second season of a contract which sees him feature across all formats for the Foxes, who are out at 15.00 to top the North Group.

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