The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today announced the six hosts to compete in the inaugural Women’s Cricket Super League this summer and Somerset will play a part!
The hosts are:
- 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: Somerset County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, University of Exeter
- Surrey County Cricket Club
- Yorkshire County Cricket Club
The announcement follows a rigorous host award process over the last six months, which included an initial expression-of-interest and invitation-to-tender phase followed by prospective hosts being invited to interview at the end of 2015. The process culminated in unanimous ECB Board approval of the six selected hosts today.
The Women’s Cricket Super League will start in the summer of 2016 with the six teams competing in a Twenty20 (T20) event. In future seasons the competition will include both T20 and 50-over formats. All six teams have been awarded hosting rights for a four-year period from 2016-2019 inclusive.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive of the ECB, said: “This is a key day in the creation of the Women’s Cricket Super League – we have now secured the six hosts for the start of the competition this summer. The bidding process for obtaining the hosts was competitive from the outset and throughout the interviews, alongside my colleagues on the panel, I was very impressed by all of the proposals submitted.
“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. 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.”
Somerset CCC CEO Guy Lavender said: “Somerset has been at the forefront of developing and supporting the women’s game over many years and we are delighted to be a key partner in hosting the South West Team. Alongside Gloucestershire CCC and the University of Exeter, we have a great opportunity to build a formidable side as well as inspiring the next generation of female cricketers.”
ECB Director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, added: “It has been remarkable to see the enthusiasm that the Women’s Cricket Super League has generated. The award process has provided a real catalyst for a wide range of organisations to think differently about their individual and collaborative cricket offer for women and girls, and how they can positively shape the future of the game. It is not just the final six hosts who are behind the growth of the women’s game, but a range of parties and people who have been engaged throughout this search.
“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 inspire women and girls to love cricket. All six of the confirmed hosts have passionately demonstrated that they share this aspiration and we are now really excited to work with them to deliver this next stage in the evolution of women’s cricket in this country.”
The key aims of the Women’s Cricket Super League include the development of ever higher standards for the England women’s team with greater competition for places, alongside inspiring more women and girls to play cricket at all levels. It will offer new opportunities, a new narrative for the game and new role models, as well as a network of host clubs linked to their communities.
Further details on the format and timing of the Women’s Cricket Super League, along with confirmed team names and identities, will be announced in due course.