April 25, 2003

Cricket meets Pop for the Twenty20 Cup

*Trent Bridge to host Twenty20 Cup Final*

The pop world and cricket joined forces today when the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the music line-up for county cricket's revolutionary Twenty20 Cup competition.

Established bands 'Atomic Kitten' and 'Mis-Teeq', as well as emerging Irish boy band 'D'Side', will play in front of live audiences at Twenty20 Cup matches while a re-mix of 10CC's 'Dreadlock Holiday' has been selected as the theme tune for the tournament.

Atomic Kitten, the all-girl band with a string of top 20 hits, will play at the Finals Day to be held at Trent Bridge on Saturday 19 July - the first time that a pop band has ever played at a major domestic cricket final in the UK. Supporting Atomic Kitten will be 'United Colours of Sound', who have re-mixed the old 10CC song 'Dreadlock Holiday' to become the signature tune of the competition.

Mis-Teeq, meanwhile, will entertain spectators on the opening day of the competition, Friday 13 June, at the Hampshire v Sussex match at the Rose Bowl. They will be supported by D'Side and United Colours of Sound. A capacity 9,000 sell-out is anticipated for the match, which will be televised live by Sky Sports.

Stuart Robertson, ECB Marketing Manager, said, "The Twenty20 Cup is all about bringing new audiences to cricket. It is about enhancing the entertainment package available at matches so that Twenty20 Cup matches become major summer social attractions. Signing these big name bands is a huge boost to the competition.

"We fully expect capacity crowds at both the Hampshire v Sussex match and the Finals Day, not to mention many of the 45 group matches."

Ticket information

  • Tickets are now available for all Twenty20 Cup matches and details can be found at www.ecb.co.uk/twenty20
  • Tickets for the opening game at the Rose Bowl can be bought today. Tel. 0870 243 0291. Ticket prices are £15 for adults and £10 for under sixteens.

Band information
Mis-Teeq - made up of three girls Alesha 23, Sabrina 23 and Su - Elise 20 - are a UK garage / R'n'B band who have had four top ten singles to date. Their debut album Eye Candy, reached number five in the album charts earlier this month. The band won the 'Best Artist' award at last year's UK Garage Awards.

Atomic Kitten - the Liverpool trio have had 11 hit singles to date including one of the biggest hits of 2001 'Whole Again' taken from their number one debut double platinum album 'Right Now'. The girls became the UK's biggest female act of recent years when they simultaneously held number one spot on both the singles and album charts, a feat only ever achieved by a female artist before by the Spice Girls. Their current album 'Feels So Good' has sold in excess of 600,000 copies.

D'Side - are already following in the footsteps of two other famous Irish five-piece boybands (Westlife and Boyzone) by launching their career by winning 'Best New Act' at the Smash Hits Awards. Their debut song, 'Speachless', went into the top 10 last Sunday.

Twenty20 Cup - background information
The Twenty20 Cup, the first brand new competition for county cricket since 1973, replaces the old Benson and Hedges Cup. It is cricket on fast-forward - 20 overs-a-side bouts contested over just two hours 45 mins and staged during the longest summer evenings in June. (Opening matches are on Friday 13 June). With games generally starting at 5.30pm, the action is conveniently timed for the post-school and office audiences.

The 18 First Class Counties are split into three regional groups of six teams each, with the three group winners and the best runner-up progressing to a Finals Day at Trent Bridge on Saturday 19 July. Aside from the on-pitch action, off-the-field entertainment will include live bands, replay screens, BBQ zones and karaoke machines, with musical instruments and fancy dress codes encouraged to help create the perfect evening out.

A new prize money structure will be implemented to encourage both team victories and individual performances. The Twenty20 champions will receive £42,000, the runners-up will get £21,000 and the losing-semi-finalists £10,000. Extra incentives will also be made to the best performing individuals with cash prizes of up to £1,500 going to the best performing batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.

npower is the first official partner of the Twenty20 Cup. More official partners are anticipated.

Match details and ticket information can be found at www.ecb.co.uk/twenty20