All-rounder Luis Reece has called on Derbyshire supporters to again back the Vitality Blast campaign as the squad pushes to reach a first Finals Day for the club.
Derbyshire host seven games in the group stages, including the visit of Notts Outlaws to The 3aaa County Ground on Friday, 13th July and Yorkshire Vikings to Chesterfield on Saturday, 28th July.
After two sold-out fixtures in last summer’s competition, more than 20% of tickets for the big local derby against Yorkshire have already been sold, and Reece hopes to see more capacity crowds in the county this summer.
He enjoyed a record T20 Blast campaign last summer in his first full season in the format, scoring 433 runs, including four half-centuries — a joint club record — and a career-best 97 not out against his former county, Lancashire.
He said: “Last year was an awesome spectacle at Chesterfield, going to the last ball and winning the game (against Yorkshire). It really set our campaign up and we appreciated all the support we got.
“The atmosphere was one of the best I’ve been involved in and hopefully we can replicate that again this year, with a packed crowd and a good contest for the supporters.
“It’s the same against Notts. It’s a big rivalry for the supporters and the players feed off that and the buzz around the crowd.”
Last summer Derbyshire reached a first quarter-final in the format since 2005 after a club-record eight wins saw them finish second in the North Group.
Reece added: “We would love to get to Finals Day. Last year we came so close and the boys were desperate to get there, so we will be pushing really hard this year to get there.
“Everyone stuck their hand up in different scenarios last year.
“But we have missed someone who can go in and whack the ball from the start, and also offer control with the ball.
“With his recent form in Twenty20 cricket and the one-day international series with England, (new signing) Mitchell Santner has shown he’s more than capable of doing this.
“He’s a quality player and we are luck that we have signed him, so I’m sure he will do well when he comes over.”