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Finals Day tickets sell out before Christmas as hope rises for crowds return

Prospect of vaccine roll-out leads to optimism, after 2020 event is staged behind closed doors

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
The crowds enjoy the action on T20 Finals Day  •  Getty Images

The crowds enjoy the action on T20 Finals Day  •  Getty Images

Tickets for T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston have sold out before Christmas for the second year in a row.
Finals Day, in which the two semi-finals and the final of the T20 Blast are played back-to-back-to-back, has been staged at Edgbaston for last eight editions, but was forced to take place behind closed doors this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, 86% of tickets were rolled over to 2021 by purchasers, with the remaining pre-sale tickets selling out in a priority window for Warwickshire members and previous buyers. An allocation of around 3,000 tickets will be held back for supporters of the four teams that reach Finals Day.
Optimism is growing within English cricket that it will be possible to stage events in front of capacity crowds in 2021 following the start of the Covid vaccine's roll-out in the UK this week, and major venues have opened their ticket ballots for England's international fixtures.
Neil Snowball, who recently joined the ECB as managing director of county cricket after a stint as Warwickshire's chief executive, said: "Following such a challenging year for everyone, it's great to see that the enthusiasm for county cricket is as strong as ever with thousands of cricket fans keen to reserve their place for one of the stand-out days in the sporting calendar.
"We continue to work closely with government and the other major sports on plans for the safe return of crowds as we prepare for what promises to be an exciting summer of cricket in 2021."
Meanwhile, the 2021 domestic season's calendar will begin to take shape in the coming weeks, with the ECB hoping to publish fixtures for the group stage of the revamped County Championship before Christmas. The remainder of the domestic fixtures would then be released in early 2021.
County fixtures have typically been released in late November, but uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the international calendar has meant a delay this year.
There remains at least one men's international series to be confirmed, with Sri Lanka due to play three T20Is at the Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston and Cardiff, while it is possible that Tests against New Zealand or Ireland may be scheduled in June depending on England's progress in the inaugural World Test Championship and the date that the ICC choose for the final.
Dates for England women's series against South Africa and New Zealand are currently unconfirmed, while the Hundred is likely to be staged from mid-July to mid-August.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98