A Review Of The Natwest Series
The NatWest Series takes its name from its sponsor, National Westminster Bank. The tournament is held in England and has been around since 2000. While the teams that participate in this tournament vary from one year to the next, teams from every test-playing nation have played in the series.
The tournament originally had a format that saw three different teams facing off against each other. English would always play, and two international teams would face off against them. A total of ten matches were played at seven different locations, including Riverside Ground and Trent Bridge.
The first tournament had England facing off against Zimbabwe and the West Indies, with England winning the tournament. In 2001, England played against Australia and Pakistan, with Australia being the victors. England came in third place in this tournament.
The 2002 series, which featured India, England, and Sri Lanka, was especially notable. England played very well, with Nasser Hussain scoring 115 and Marcus Trescothick. Although they posted a total of 325–5, India narrowly beat them with a total of 326–8.
England won for a second time in 2003 when they faced off against South Africa and Zimbabwe. 2004 featured New Zealand and the West Indies, with New Zealand winning. Although Australia were the favorites to win in 2005, they wound up tying with England, making this the first draw in the history of the series.
In 2006, the triangular format was scrapped for a new format that had England play in seperate series against both of the visiting teams. This change was made because the turnout for games in which England wasn’t playing was low. The number of games played varies from year to year. England lost to Pakistan 5-0 in 2006, while they had a 2–2 draw with Pakistan.
In 2007, the international teams were the West Indies and India. England played a three-match series against the West Indies, which they lost 2-1, and a seven-match series against India, which they won 4-3. Although the shift in the format meant that games were better attended than they were in the past, it also meant that the tournament could not have a single winner. This was a point of frustration for some fans.
The following year, England played a five-match series against New Zealand. Although one game was rained out, England lost 3-1. They also played a five-match series against South Africa. Again, one game was rained out, but this time, England won 4-0.
In subsequent years, England has seen many wins and losses. In 2009, they won against the West Indies but lost to Australia. England managed to defeat both visiting teams in 2010, 2011, and 2012. They played against Australia in 2013.
More recently, this series has not been held. Instead, National Westminster Bank has sponsored other tournaments, such as the NatWest t20 Blast. Currently, the future of this series is still up in the air. It is possible that future tournaments will be held, but at the time of writing, nothing is planned.