The ECB have announced the six hosts to compete in the very first Women’s Cricket Super League this summer.
Yorkshire, Surrey, Lancashire, Loughborough, the South West, and Hampshire will be the six teams to compete in the T20 competition, with hopes for the series to branch out to include a 50 over variant in future seasons. Much like the men’s Natwest T20 Blast, the competition will conclude with a finals day.
The host bidding process lasted for six months, with potential hosts being interviewed towards the end of 2015. Over 30 potential hosts expressed an interest in the competition after news broke of the league’s formation last summer.
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The teams included - which are yet to be named - have penned a deal to host games for the next four summers - and will hope to draw off the positive press that the current Women’s Big Bash League in Australia has received in its first outing this year.
The main aims of the new competition include raising the standard of the already competitive England Women’s team, along with promoting and inspiring girls to take up cricket at grass roots level.
The ECB’s director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, confirmed that the squads for each side would be announced in due course – possibly by Easter.
"We will also aim to try and maintain local relationships and allegiances wherever possible, so it is foreseeable for example, that the likes of Katherine Brunt, Danielle Hazell and Lauren Winfield will play for the Yorkshire team, while Kate Cross and Natalie Sciver will play for the Lancashire and Surrey teams respectively" said Connor.
"To have seven first-class counties, five non-first-class counties and three universities involved, demonstrates how collaborative, imaginative and wide-ranging this project is."
The official listing of teams is as follows:
- Hampshire Cricket with partners: Berkshire Cricket Ltd, Dorset Cricket Board, Isle of Wight Cricket Board, Oxfordshire Cricket, Southampton Solent University, Sussex Cricket Ltd, Wiltshire Cricket Ltd
- Lancashire County Cricket Board with partners: Lancashire County Cricket Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation
- Loughborough University
- South West consortium with: Somerset County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, University of Exeter
- Surrey County Cricket Club
- Yorkshire County Cricket Club