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 with Birmingham Bears’ Becky Grundy and Amy Jones to play for Loughborough Lightning.
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 30th 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 Becky 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 31st 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 31st 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.
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.”
Ahead of the Kia Super League, Becky and Amy will be part of the Birmingham Bears Women’s team which will play at Edgbaston for the first time, as part of two T20 days that will also include a men’s NatWest T20 Blast fixture.
England Women’s Performance Squad player allocations in full:
Sarah Taylor (captain)
Charlotte Edwards (captain)
Natalie Sciver (captain)
Heather Knight (captain)
Lauren Winfield (captain)
On Sunday 19 June Birmingham Bears Women will take on Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston after Ian Bell and the men’s team face Lancashire Lightning. The second double header will be played at Edgbaston on Sunday 17 July with Birmingham Bears Women against Lancashire following the men’s team game against Leicestershire Foxes. For tickets, please click here or call 0844 847 1902.