England’s biggest cricket competition is coming to Chesterfield

Derbyshire Falcons face Yorkshire Vikings in the Vitality Blast at Queen's Park

Inside Queen's park pavilion. Photo: Josh Green

Every year, Yorkshire Vikings face off against Derbyshire Falcons at Queens Park in Chesterfield.

However, this usually is a battle in the second division of the County Championship. This time, they face off in the biggest T20 competition in the country, the Vitality Blast.

This is a huge coup for a small cricket ground and is an event that can put Queens Park on the map. 

The Vitality Blast features every county across the country, who house some of the best players within the sport.

As it is one of the biggest tournaments on the cricket calendar, the games are played at some huge grounds. Lord’s can seat 31,100, while Edgbaston and the Oval can host 25,000 each. 

Despite this, Queens Park in Chesterfield, which is usually the home of Chesterfield Cricket Club, has managed to secure itself on the list alongside these huge grounds, to host a Vitality Blast game.

The two counties that border Chesterfield normally use Queens Park for their games, but never one of this magnitude.  

Inside Queen’s Park’s pavilion. Photo: Josh Green

There is a huge amount of effort that goes into preparing the ground before a game. As there are no seating areas, employees must lay out seats surrounding the boundary.

The park opened up in 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, because of this, it is still very old fashioned and outdated. It has a small pavilion which has a bar for the fans, and dressing rooms for the players.

A lot of the tournament’s games are live to watch on Sky Sports, showing the enormity of the event. It makes it by far the smallest and most obsolete ground to host such a big competition. 

The Chesterfield Cricket Club captain Harry Wilmott said, “I love playing here every other week, when there is decent crowd it can make for a good atmosphere, I’ll certainly be buying a ticket.” 

Tickets can be purchased on either teams’ website, where adults can go for £20. The Chesterfield CC vice-captain stated, “It’s always a good occasion when Derbyshire and Yorkshire face off here, but the fact they are going to be playing in the T20 blast makes it even more special.” 

Both Derbyshire Falcons and Yorkshire Vikings compete in the north group of the Vitality Blast each year. Last year they both enjoyed decent campaigns.

They made it out of the group to compete in the knockout stages, where Derbyshire Falcons were knocked out in the quarter final, and Yorkshire Vikings in the semi final. But more significantly, they both made good progress on the previous year’s outcomes.  

For Derbyshire, the reason for their recent uptake in results may be their new head coach, Mickey Arthur. He is quite literally the definition of, ‘been there, done that’.

The South African has managed four of the biggest cricketing countries on the planet in Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and his home country, South Africa.

He has also been the head coach of the Dhaka Dynamites who play in the capital of Bangladesh and are one of the biggest teams in the country.  

It was somewhat of a shock to everyone in the cricketing world when he decided to join Derbyshire, but either way, he has certainly improved them.