Charlotte Edwards will captain the Southern Vipers © Getty Images
Charlotte Edwards is a Southern Viper, Katherine Brunt a Yorkshire Diamond and Sarah Taylor will rumble for Lancashire Thunder. Not an ECB marketing gimmick but confirmation of the allocation of England players to teams in the inaugural Women’s Super League.
The six teams have been assigned between three and four players from the England Performance Squad, with overseas signings to come further down the line. The T20 tournament is scheduled to take place in July and August and is aimed at increasing the standards and opportunities for the women’s game in England.
Edwards, the England captain, has just returned from India were her side were knocked out in the semi-final of the Women’s World T20. She has long played for Kent and will lead the Southern Vipers – who are based at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl – in the WSL.
“With three or four England players, plus three overseas players, per squad the standard of the Kia Super League is going to be very high; exactly what’s needed to take our game forwards,” Edwards said. “I’m really excited and happy to be a Southern Viper. The Ageas Bowl is somewhere that I’ve always enjoyed playing and I have particularly fond memories of winning the Women’s Ashes there in 2013.
“I’ve also done a lot of work in the area with the Hampshire Cricket Board and Chance to Shine, so it’s somewhere that I already feel really at home. I cannot wait to play there as a Viper this summer.”
Among other key England players, Nat Sciver will continue her Surrey association with the Stars, and Heather Knight will captain the Western Storm – a partnership between Somerset, Gloucestershire and University of Exeter. Yorkshire Diamonds and Loughborough Lightning are the two teams with four England players.
Jo Kirk, the WSL general manager, said: “The key considerations when initially approaching the player allocation process were to ensure an even balance of talent across the six teams, alongside factoring in the local allegiances of the players as much as possible.
“Each of the teams will have a squad of 15 players, which will consist of a maximum of four centrally contracted England women’s players, three overseas players, and a maximum of three England Women’s Academy players. The remainder of players will come from the England Women’s Development Programme and a comprehensive county talent identification process.
“By the end of this process, the ECB will have collaborated extensively with the six hosts to select 90 players from a talent pool of nearly 200 from this country and across the world. Players will receive a standardised match fee for each game that they compete in, plus expenses will be paid to all players throughout the preparation and competition phases.”
The six WSL teams have been awarded hosting rights for a four-year period from 2016-2019 inclusive, with the competition set to expand from T20 only in its inaugural year to both T20 and 50-over cricket in future seasons.
Lancashire Thunder Kate Cross Sarah Taylor (captain) Danielle Wyatt Loughborough Lightning Georgia Elwiss Rebecca Grundy Amy Jones Beth Langston Southern Vipers Charlotte Edwards (captain) Natasha Farrant Lydia Greenway Surrey Stars Tammy Beaumont Laura Marsh Natalie Sciver (captain) Western Storm Heather Knight (captain) Anya Shrubsole Fran Wilson Yorkshire Diamonds Katherine Brunt Jenny Gunn Danielle Hazell Lauren Winfield (captain)
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo