The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced which of the six teams the England Women’s Performance Squad members will play for in the first edition of the Kia Super League this summer.
Each of Lancashire Thunder, Southern Vipers, Surrey Stars and Western Storm will field three England stars, whilst Loughborough Lightning and Yorkshire Diamonds will both have four England players in their line-ups.
The opening match of the competition on Saturday 30 July will see eight England women’s players in action as Yorkshire Diamonds, led by Lauren Winfield, with Katherine Brunt, Danielle Hazell and Jenny Gunn host Loughborough Lightning at Headingley.
The Lightning team will contain a strong Loughborough University allegiance, with current student Rebecca Grundy, joined by alumni Georgia Elwiss, Amy Jones and Beth Langston.
England women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards, will be joined by Kent team-mates, 19-year-old left-arm seamer, Natasha Farrant, and experienced left-handed batsman, Lydia Greenway, in the Southern Vipers line-up.
The Southern Vipers will be looking to get off to a winning start on Sunday 31 July, when they take on Natalie Sciver’s Surrey Stars on home turf at the Ageas Bowl. As captain of the Stars, Sciver will be able to call on off-spinning all-rounder Laura Marsh and hard-hitting batsman Tammy Beaumont.
Former Devon opening batsman and England women’s vice-captain Heather Knight will get the opportunity to return to her West Country roots having been appointed captain of Western Storm. Knight will be joined by Somerset stalwart Anya Shrubsole and ex-Somerset middle-order batsman Fran Wilson, when they line up against Lancashire Thunder for the Storm’s first group match on Sunday 31 July in Taunton.
Manchester-born Kate Cross, will be a key player for the Thunder, and she will be looking forward to welcoming off-spinning all-rounder Danielle Wyatt and Sussex’s Sarah Taylor to her home patch this summer. Taylor will take on leadership duties for Lancashire Thunder from behind the stumps.
England women’s and Southern Vipers’ captain, Charlotte Edwards, said:
“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.
“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.”
Kia Super League General Manager, Jo Kirk, 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, to compete in the Kia Super League.
“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.”
England Women’s Performance Squad Player Allocation:
Sarah Taylor (captain)
Charlotte Edwards (captain)
Natalie Sciver (captain)
Heather Knight (captain)
Lauren Winfield (captain)