The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today (Thursday) unveiled the six teams that will compete in the inaugural edition of its Women’s Super League this year.
Hampshire Cricket, Lancashire County Cricket Board, Loughborough University, South West, Surrey County Cricket Club and Yorkshire County Cricket Club will all take part in the tournament this summer. Each team has been awarded hosting rights on a four-year basis, covering all editions of the tournament from 2016 through to 2019.
The Hampshire Cricket team will involve partners in the shape of Berkshire Cricket, Dorset Cricket Board, Isle of Wight Cricket Board, Oxfordshire Cricket, Southampton Solent University, Sussex Cricket and Wiltshire Cricket. Lancashire County Cricket Board will be partnered by Lancashire County Cricket Club and the Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation.
The South West team will consist of Somerset County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and the University of Exeter.
Upon announcing the new tournament in August of last year, the ECB said all 18 first-class counties in England and Wales submitted bids either on their own or in collaboration with other local partners. Bids were also put forward from other organisations in partnership with cricket bodies, educational institutions and local authorities.
The inaugural Women’s Super League will run in the Twenty20 format, while future editions of the event will feature both Twenty20 and 50-over formats. Further details on the format and dates for this year’s event will be announced in due course.
“It is pleasing to see so much diverse and innovative partnership working across the cricket and educational landscapes and that the six chosen hosts provide such a strong geographical spread,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said. “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 tournament will launch in the wake of the highly acclaimed debut season for Cricket Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League. The inaugural competition, which began on December 5 and runs until January 24, adopts the same format as the men’s Big Bash League, with each woman’s team aligned with a men’s team.
Clare Connor, ECB director of England women’s cricket, added: “Our vision for the Women’s Cricket Super League is to create an exciting, dynamic and high quality domestic women’s game in England, where the world’s best players come together to drive performance standards and to inspire women and girls to love cricket.”