ANALYSIS: How England’s Batsmen Get Out

England’s 4 leading batsmen – Charlotte Edwards, Heather Knight, Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway – have collectively been dismissed over 500 times in limited overs internationals*. We take a look at the numbers showing how they got out.

Player Caught Bowled LBW Run Out Stumped
Edwards 49% 19% 19% 9% 5%
Greenway 45% 16% 13% 17% 9%
Knight 47% 20% 12% 16% 6%
Taylor 56% 17% 10% 11% 6%
TOTAL 49% 18% 15% 12% 6%

With the usual caveats about lies, damned lies and statistics, what does this tell us?

Collectively, the most common mode of dismissal is Caught. This is the case throughout all international cricket, men’s and women’s – though the men tend to be caught behind rather more often than the women.

For individual players, the statistically significant numbers (see An Aside on Statistical Significance below) are highlighted in RED.

Sarah Taylor tends to get caught rather more than her peers. She likes to go over the infield, with lofted drives particularly over mid on. It is a tactic which has brought her enormous success, but it isn’t without its risks if she doesn’t actually clear the fielder.

Charlotte Edwards is particularly susceptible to being out Leg Before Wicket; and although the frequency of LBWs has fallen slightly, from 20% earlier in her career to 18% more recently, it remains significant. Is it because she opens the batting? In doing so, she faces the best bowlers at their freshest, swinging it in at pace towards her legs; and if they’ve done their homework, they are probably looking for that decision too! Maybe the England captain also suffers slightly from the man at the other end not having got his eye in yet? (Perhaps that’s the reason for those trade-mark looks of withering disbelief as the ump’s finger is raised!)

Lydia Greenway gets Run Out a lot. Is this because, batting a bit further down the order, England are more likely to be under pressure and chasing every run when she comes to the crease; and so Lydia finds herself taking more risks than her peers? Or perhaps it’s because she finds herself batting more often with all-rounders and tail-enders? Either way, it’s a particular concern this summer given that the fielding of the Aussies is top-notch, and won’t leave much room for confusion between the wickets.

Finally, Heather Knight is… Heather Knight – balanced in dismissals, as she is in life. While it is true that 16% of her dismissals are Run Outs, compared with a group average of just 12%, this is not statistically significant! Why? Well, read on…

An Aside On Statistical Significance

Statistical significance is a complex science, but Heather’s dismissals are actually an interesting case here, helping to explain it in simple terms. As we’ve seen, 16% of her dismissals are Run Out – shown in PURPLE above. This looks like a lot compared with the average of 12%, but actually she has only been Run Out 8 times. Had she been run out just 2 times fewer, her percentage would fall right down to 12% – i.e. the average for the group. So her 16% Run Outs are not considered statistically significant.

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* ODI + T20I

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MATCH REPORT: MCC Women – 74-Year-Old Enid Bakewell Slices Felsted Middle Order

Andy Lynch reports from Felsted School

Ironically in a regular fixture that has started to so successfully promote girls’ cricket in this part of Essex, it was the bowling performance of England Women’s cricket legend and septuagenarian Enid Bakewell that caught the eye as a strong MCC Women’s side defeated the Felsted School Girls’ team by 40 runs in June.

Felsted

Picturesque Felsted School

In last year’s inaugural match, it was decided to ‘mix and match’ the teams to ensure parity, a policy that worked well despite some early glitches that saw MCC Captain Beth Wild return from winning the toss to realise that she had done so against her own opening batsman. A close finish resulted however, and so it was decided to follow the same policy this year, all conducted in an open and friendly way without the need for lining players against the playground wall (an ordeal which some readers may have endured in their younger days – as did this writer).

Winning the toss, the MCC Women combination XI chose to bat, but suffered an early reverse when Essex Girls’ Nancy Hebron played across the line and was bowled. Some early innings tremors were steadied however by a 3rd wicket partnership of 64 between Georgia Hennessey (Worcestershire) and Lucy Stuchfield (Oxford University). At 71-2 off 11 overs, MCC looked set fair for a sizeable total, but a tidy spell of 3-17 off 5 overs from Dani Lavender put the brakes on somewhat, coupled with the retirement of Hennessy after making a well-compiled 51 off 47 balls. It was left to Beth Wild and New Zealand international Rachel Candy to take the MCC to an impressive, but not unbeatable, 154-8 off their 25 overs, with Alex Straker-Nesbit tidying up the tail to finish with 4-20.

The Felsted combination XI needed a strong start, but the early loss of Berkshire’s Carla Rudd during an impressive spell from the School’s Kieri Samaranayake was a blow. Nevertheless, at 41-2 off 11 overs, a target of a further 114 off 14 overs was tough but still possible.

Enid Bakewell

Enid Bakewell

Then Enid Bakewell got to work. Bowling slow left arm with impressive flight, two wickets followed in her first over as several of the School’s girls found themselves beaten by Enid’s guile. Some hushed conversations were overheard on the boundary’s edge as several returning batsmen expressed surprise at the slowness and loop of the bowling – to which of course could be added ‘straightness’. A third wicket followed with a smart catch by Beth Wild at point, and although there were some late flurries from Felsted’s captain for the day Salliann Briggs, and Beth Absolon of Suffolk, who finished with an impressive unbeaten 44 off 46 balls (including 10 boundaries), MCC eased to a 40 run victory as the School closed on 114-8.

An enjoyable afternoon’s cricket, but no doubt who the star turn of the day was (in my opinion anyway). Pausing to thank the officials, Enid reminded us of her age before making her way to the changing room. Well played indeed – if I’m still scoring after 50+ years in the game (let alone playing) then I’ll be more than happy.

SPECTATOR HINT – for those visiting the School (and it’s a lovely venue, used by Essex Women on occasions) then we can recommend the sausage baguettes in the local tea rooms. I accept that’s not a useful pre-match tip for players however.

OPINION: Ancient Rivalries Threaten Super League Prospects

In the immortal words of the Aussie soap theme, “Everybody needs good neighbours!” But in sport (as in Ramsay Street) it is often the BAD neighbours that make the biggest stories – think the Mets v the Yankees in Major League Baseball; Carlton v Collingwood in Aussie Rules; or Celtic v Rangers in Scottish football.

And women’s cricket is no exception – Kent and Sussex are neighbours… but GOOD neighbours? Hardly!

So if Sussex were to be contemplating a franchise bid, it is a pretty safe bet that it won’t be a joint bid with Kent! Ditto Middlesex and Surrey; not to mention that oldest and fiercest of great cricketing rivalries, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Yet with only 6 franchises to share around in the proposed Women’s Cricket Super League, this could well be a major sticking-point.

The counties listed above are probably six of the most likely franchise candidates, especially when you factor-in financial viability; but it would mean 4 of the 6 franchises within 60 miles of London, and the other two based either side of the Pennines – leaving huge swathes of the country, from the Midlands to the south west, without a sniff of top-level women’s cricket.

And this DOES matter – perhaps not commercially, but certainly from the perspective of building England’s next generation around localised “Centres of Excellence” for coaching and development.

Is there a way to cut through this? It won’t be easy.

A “South East” franchise that somehow combined Sussex and Kent would still need to be based somewhere; and there aren’t too many options once you start to consider the minimum standards being mandated for facilities – it is going to be either Brighton or Canterbury*, which means it will be Sussex or Kent in all but name. (And likely in name too, because that would be the obvious way of marketing it to the existing (men’s) fan-base.)

The other option for the ECB is to “pick one” – one of Kent or Sussex; one of Middlesex or Surrey. But how do you do that fairly and transparently? (And how big is your budget for legal fees when the “loser” sues?)

One thing is for certain – Clare Connor and her team at the ECB are going to need to walk on political water to make this one work! Can they do it? Yes! (But it ain’t gonna be easy!)

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* Or possibly Beckenham… but that doesn’t buck the point!

MATCH REPORT: Disappointment for Lincolnshire but Mini Imps Lead the Way

Beth Smith reports from Fulbeck CC

Sunday saw two Lincs v Norfolk games, with the ladies’ teams and U15 teams both facing each other. The Mini Imps set the visitors a target of 147, with prominent bat Ellie Stanley gaining 78 of Lincolnshire’s runs. The strength of the U15 bowling attack shone through as Norfolk were bowled out for 50 inside 22 overs. The Mini Imps were fortunate as three of the regular Norfolk U15 players had been called up to the ladies squad to face the Lincs Ladies.

Imps captain, Hayley Butts, lost the toss and the hosts were put into field with only 10 players present. With one less player on the field the Imps needed to bowl and field tightly to restrict a strong Norfolk bating team. They did just that. At drinks the Imps had managed to get Norfolk 80-4, a score board which pleased Lincs coach/ manager Alan Ward, and showed promise for the rest of the game if the Imps could continue to be as tight in the field.

For this to be plausible the Imps needed to get rid of opening bat, Tirimanna, which was skilfully done shortly after drinks when India Freeman got her stumped off Amy Halloran. Norfolk ended up all out for 182 with wickets coming for Rachael Dyer (3-38), Becki Brooker (2-24), Beth Smith (2-28), Sarah McDowell (2-27) and Amy Halloran (1-36).

Lincs began not worrying too much about the run rate, just looking to keep wickets in hand. Unfortunately Smith (17) was run-out early on, and McDowell (8) got caught out to a ball that popped widely off the pitch shortly afterwards. India Freeman and Halloran looked to steady the ship and were in the process of building a partnership when Freeman (27) attempted to go over the top and got caught leaving Lincs 73-3. Halloran (13) fell caught behind 8 runs later, and Butts and Brooker added a small partnership of 19 before a direct hit from Hemp dismissed Brooker (13) and left the Imps 102-5.

Wickets fell steadily after that with Butts, Dyer, Coggan, debutant Knapton and Barnes all failing to reach double figures. The extras score kept the Imps total ticking over but it was a landslide away from what they needed, and they were eventually all out for 126. The pick of Norfolk’s bowling and fielding came from Hogg (3-9), Reay (2-8), Cornelius (2-29), and Hemp (1-23), who also ran out Smith and Brooker.

So ended a glorious day for the Mini imps, but a disappointing one for the ladies, who for the team to succeed need one of their top 6 to achieve a big score, like the one that Tirimanna got for the travelling team. The Imps have two months to learn from the game before their next county champs fixture; in the meantime, they head to Ellesmere in a fortnight, where they will open their T20 campaign after last week’s scheduled game ended in a washout.

A full scorecard can be found here.

MATCH REPORT: Gloucestershire Maintain Winning Record

Steve Dent reports from Bridgnorth CC

Gloucestershire maintained their winning record in the county championship this weekend, with a hard-fought 36-run win against Shropshire at Bridgnorth CC.

After winning the toss and batting, openers Abby Evans and Charlie Walker built a large opening stand based on positive strokeplay and determination to lead from the front. Both were quick to despatch anything loose and their stand of 92 provided a great platform for the rest of the innings. Abby reached 50 from 64 balls with 6 boundaries before she was bowled by Lara Jones. With the score on 108 Charlie was given out LBW sweeping for a measured 36 from 66 balls.

Abby Evans Celebrates Her 50

Abby Evans Celebrates Her 50

Gloucestershire then lost two quick wickets before Bethan Moorcraft and Eve Alder produced a positive partnership to give the innings impetus. Bethan played with a clear purpose, ran positively and hit 7 boundaries in her innings of 50 from 62 balls. Eve played a valuable supporting role and the pair put on 55 in 13 overs before Eve was run out for 17 and, shortly after reaching her 50, Bethan was bowled, with the score on 174.

Bethan Moorcraft Celebrates Her 50

Bethan Moorcraft Celebrates Her 50

However, Laura Marshall (10*), Danika Dyer and Chloe Davis ensured that the score passed 200, and Gloucestershire finished on 205 – 9 from their 50 overs.

Things didn’t go to plan for Gloucestershire once Shropshire’s innings got underway, as Robyn Mathews played very positively right from the start. She shared in partnerships of 41 with Lara Jones and 62 with Millie Home to give Shropshire a real chance of chasing down their target.

The introduction of Danika Dyer brought about the change Gloucestershire were after, and she took the wickets of Jones and Home, both LBW. Her mid-innings spell of 2 – 22 from 10 overs was crucial. While Mathews carried on, passing 50, Dyer and Mollie Robbins started to turn the screw with some tight bowling.

The game looked to be heading for a tight finish with 8 overs to go and Shropshire wanting 51 with 6 wickets left, but a brilliant stumping by Laura Marshall off Mollie Robbins dismissed Mathews for a superb 80 and from that point onwards Gloucestershire dominated.

Robbins picked up two further wickets to finish with 3 – 27 from her 10 overs. A late wicket from Sidra Khan put the seal on the victory as Shropshire ended their 50 overs on 169 – 8.

Afterwards, coach Steve Dent described the win as “hard-fought”. “Shropshire looked likely winners at more than one stage. However the team stayed patient and positive and got their just rewards in the end, to record our 2nd win in the competition. There were excellent contributions all round, and it’s good to see confidence and belief high.”

Gloucestershire are next in action in the County T20 competition against Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire on 5th July.

MATCH REPORT: Brunt and Winfield end Middlesex’s winning streak

Georgia Isaac reports from Harrogate CC

Yorkshire’s tight bowling and aggressive batting at Harrogate CC put an end to Middlesex’s unbeaten run this season, as the Meatballs suffered a 9-wicket defeat.

Yorkshire won the toss and, in overcast conditions, it was a good one to win. There was rain around, but it was good to see no overs were lost.

Middlesex were once again without Cath Dalton, who remains injured after hurting her ankle on the eve of the T20s last weekend. Sophia Dunkley and Natasha Miles opened for the visitors, but there was no repeat of last week’s heroics. With Katherine Brunt and Laura Spragg opening the bowling, Spragg took the first wicket in the 4th over as Dunkley was bowled for 7, unable to add many to her unbeaten tally of 91 runs from the previous two games.

Spragg and Brunt bowled six and seven overs respectively in their opening spells, with Brunt’s penultimate over being a wicket-maiden which saw the end of Tash Miles for l4.

Fran Wilson, who was in good form following her 55 in the recent EWA game against Loughborough MCCU, played fluently, sharing a partnership of 29 with Beth Morgan. Morgan also shared a solid stand of 39 runs with Izzy Westbury (33).

But wickets fell regularly, with Katie Levick (3-21) and Brunt (3-23) finishing with three wickets apiece, and Middlesex were all out for 176 after 40 overs – 10 short of the allotted number. On a good deck, this was some way short of a competitive total.

If Middlesex were to even entertain an away win they had to take early wickets. Danni Warren and Ria Raval opened the attack against the threatening right-hand/left-hand combination of Winfield and wicketkeeper Beth Mooney. After 10 overs Yorkshire were a sound 46-0, and Westbury was ringing the bowling changes in an attempt to find that elusive wicket.

Yorkshire gave no chances as both Winfield and Mooney reached half-centuries. They found the boundary with ease, including one six from Mooney, and continued to attack the bowling as they closed in on their target of 177. This resulted in the one positive for Middlesex from the innings: Alex Hartley’s dismissal of Mooney for 69, as she tried to secure another boundary but was caught on the fence by Anna Nicholls.

Winfield continued her fine form as she finished on 99 not out, having been unable to hit the required six to reach her century. This saw Yorkshire to a convincing 9-wicket win after just 30.4 overs.

After the match, Winfield – who averages well over 50 this season – said that she felt her innings was significant in the lead-up to the Ashes next month. “Today was important for me to go on past fifty and spend as much time at the crease as I can, and turn those starts into big scores. It’s important building up to the Ashes that we’re feeling confident.”

However, she stressed that “winning games for Yorkshire is very much what is important for me right now”.

From Middlesex’s perspective, it was a disappointing loss, made worse by the fact that Ria Raval had to leave the field after tearing her hamstring as she leaped for the ball. She is expected to be out for several weeks.

Georgia blogs about cricket regularly at https://georgiacricket.wordpress.com.

Women’s County Championship Debrief (Round 5): Kent and Yorkshire Now Front-Runners

Both Kent and Sussex continued winning streaks this weekend in the fifth round of Championship matches, with comprehensive wins over Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire respectively.

Yorkshire also had a great weekend, beating Middlesex by 9 wickets and securing maximum bonus points, ending Middlesex’s unbeaten record this season.

It means that Kent now sit top of division 1 with an average of 16.4, with Yorkshire catapaulting themselves into 2nd place with an average of 14.

For Surrey, who beat Lancashire by 6 wickets, the star was Sarah Clarke, who took 4-11 to become Surrey’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the county championship (with 123 wickets to her name).

Meanwhile in Division 2, Staffordshire (with an average of 17.5) and Somerset (17.33) are well out in front, following victories yesterday against Wales and Essex respectively.

The next round of Championship matches will take place on 19th July, when all counties will be without their England players (who will be preparing for the start of the Ashes two days later). It will be interesting to see how they fare.

A full summary of the fifth round matches is below:

DIVISION 1

Warwickshire / Kent – Tammy Beaumont continued her excellent domestic form this season as she top-scored for Kent with 67, with her team eventually finishing on 209-8, the highest total of the weekend. Warwickshire then collapsed for 125 all out, as Megan Belt (3-20), Tash Farrant (3-23) and Laura Marsh (2-33) shared the wickets between them.

Lancashire / Surrey – Putting Lancashire in to bat proved to be a good decision by Surrey as Nat Sciver (5-27) and Sarah Clarke (4-11) wreaked havoc, bowling Lancs out for 78. Sciver (28) in conjunction with Susie Rowe (35) then took Surrey to a 6-wicket victory.

Sussex / Nottinghamshire – Holly Colvin’s 4-20, her best figures since returning to competitive cricket, saw Notts bowled out for 132 in 36 overs, with Jenny Gunn’s 39 their top score. Sussex easily chased down the runs in just 28.3 overs with Sarah Taylor (39) ably assisted by Georgia Elwiss (27) and Paige Scholfield (25). Full report here.

Yorkshire / Middlesex – Middlesex lost both openers early and despite a fightback by the middle-order, including 45 from Fran Wilson, they were bowled out in the 40th over for 176. Yorkshire then raced to the required total for the loss of only 1 wicket, with Lauren Winfield finishing on 99 not out! Full report by Georgia Isaac here.

DIVISION 2

Wales / Staffordshire – Lauren Parfitt (30), Gabby Basketter (28) and Naomi Davies (25) took Wales to a respectable 173-8 in their 50 overs, but Staffordshire chased down the target with 8 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 47* from Aussie Molly Strano.

Devon / Ireland – In a tight match, Ireland eventually emerged the winners by 7 runs. Batting first, Ireland had put 165 on the board, the highlight being an unbeaten half-century from Kim Garth. Devon began with a 66-run opening partnership between Amara Carr (33) and Aylish Cranstone (22), but after Laura Delany removed both openers they struggled to find runs. After a series of run outs, a direct hit from Robyn Lewis to run out Devon number 11 Lydia Clements saw them bowled out for 158 in the penultimate over.

Durham / Worcestershire – This proved to be the closest match of the weekend, as Durham finished up the eventual winners by just 2 runs. Worcestershire had bowled Durham out for 133 in 37.4 overs – Catherine Chapman top-scored with 31 – but then themselves struggled with the bat. At 89-8, it looked to be all over, but a late 44 from number 6 batsman Lauren Rowles took them to within touching distance of victory. However, she was eventually caught behind with Worcestershire still 3 runs short, and they were subsequently all out for 131.

Essex / Somerset – Somerset won by 29 runs despite having been bowled out for 101, including a remarkable 3-6 across 10 overs by Hannah Jeffrey. But Essex also batted poorly, with only Cordelia Griffith (22) making it to double figures, and were themselves all out for a mere 72 in 34.4 overs.

REPORT: Notts Colvinated as Sussex Streak Continues

Sussex’s unbeaten streak continued this weekend as a Holly Colvin four-fer helped them see off Notts by 5 wickets at Billingshurst.

Having won the toss, Sussex captain Sarah Taylor opted to field on a windy morning with some swing in the air for opening bowlers Freya Davies and Izi Noakes, who led off with a pair of maidens.

Notts soon found themselves two down, as Georgie Boyce was run out without scoring and Sonia Odedra also departed cheaply, well caught by Georgia Elwiss at gully off Davies.

Danni Wyatt (36) and Jenny Gunn (39) got things back on track for Notts, but it was Colvin who then did the damage, taking 4/20 in a 10-over spell which saw off Wyatt and Gunn as well as Amy Gauvrit and Zoe Richards.

Aussie Erin Osborne also took 3/28, before Davies came back to finish Notts off in just the 36th over, with 132 on the board.

It didn’t look like a big total, and so it proved, as Sussex knocked off the runs in less than 30 overs: Sarah Taylor leading the way with 39, assisted by Elwiss (27) and Paige Scolfield (25).

On a positive note for Notts and England, Wyatt bowled well again – taking 2/36 in 10 overs, including the big wicket of Elwiss, who struggled to get the spinner off the square and was eventually bowled trying to hoik her through mid on. Jenny Gunn (2/18) also got into the wickets, before Osborne and Colvin wrapped things up for Sussex.

Speaking to CRICKETher after being awarded her Man of the Match champagne, Holly Colvin said:

“I’d like to take that wicket with me every week – it was very helpful and turned quite a lot.”

Referencing her comeback after a year out, she added:

“It’s more enjoyment for me this year, which is really making a difference – enjoyment brings confidence and it’s good to be in a winning team and taking wickets.”

OPINION: Super League Sees ECB Embrace Risk At Last

As a sport, cricket is all about risk – the bowler who pitches it on a tempting length, inviting the drive; the batsman who looks to go over the top, even while knowing that in this game there are no second chances.

So it is perhaps surprising that cricket’s governing body in this country, the ECB, has been so conservative over the years. In particular they have never got to grips with their most fundamental problem – that in a country where cricket is very-much a second-level sport, there are simply too many teams; tied to an organisational structure that, being based around the ancient counties, is quite literally Medieval.

The women’s game has arguably suffered more from this than the men’s. Forced to adopt the county structure wholesale after the merger with men’s cricket in the late 90s, there were never really enough elite players to support such a broad base, and even now several of the Division 1 counties frequently “carry” players who neither bat nor bowl.

And yet, when change has been suggested in the past, the answer has always been: “We can’t upset the apple cart”; and “Better the devil you know” so “Cling to nurse, for fear of something worse”!

That’s why the new Women’s Cricket Super League is so important – for women’s cricket and maybe yet for the men’s game too. At a stroke, it cuts the Gordian Knot that has bound the game for so long and takes a big leap into the unknown.

For let us be clear, this is a risk. It could fall flat on it’s face before it even gets started. There are certainly parties interested in hosting teams (not all of them current First Class counties) but at least 5 of them are based within a 60 mile radius of London, which might make commercial sense, but would make a mockery of attempts to rebuild a reinvigorated organisational pyramid around the franchises as local centres of excellence.

And even once the system is established, its success is far-from guaranteed. The ECB are putting a lot of money in themselves, and will require their franchisees to support a robust business plan. But four years is a long time in business. People and sponsors come and go; and with the hosts themselves being expected to put in some money to match the ECB’s contribution, it would be remarkable if all six franchises made it through financially unscathed. If you want to know what the results could look like… just ask anyone who follows women’s soccer in America!

But almost because this is a risk, CRICKETher has never felt so excited about the future of our sport. The contracts were great; the Kia’s were great… but both were for the tiny elite. This is for the wider game and for the future. It isn’t just for those who are playing now, but also for those who will contest the Women’s Super League in 2025, the Women’s Ashes in 2027, and the World Cup in 2029.

And if at that time we are looking back on our careers as journalists, covering a robust, healthy game, then we’ll know that THIS was where that journey really started.

Women’s Cricket Super League Q & A

What is the Women’s Cricket Super League?

It’s a new elite-level competition for women’s cricket in England.

How many teams / players will take part?

There will be six teams in the competition.

Are these franchises?

In a word… YES! (The ECB are calling them “hosts” but they are franchises in all-but-name.)

Where will the teams be based?

We don’t know yet – the ECB are currently soliciting host tenders, and are prepared to entertain bids from anyone – Arsenal Football club was mentioned, albeit we imagine mainly in jest! However, requirements for teams to support a certain level of facilities for players, spectators and the media, will mean that in practice all bids seem likely to come from existing men’s First Class counties, or amalgamations thereof. Additionally, the ECB have promised to try to maintain a broad geographical base for WCSL, so teams will be spread throughout the country.

How many overseas stars will we see?

Up to 12 “overseas” superstars will play in WCSL; and it is hoped that the very biggest names in women’s cricket will be involved, such as Australia’s Meg Lanning and West Indies’ Deandra Dottin.

How much are the players getting paid?

That’s up to the individual teams, and in practice the answer (at least initially) is likely to be “not much” but the players have been promised (small) match fees and expenses, which is actually a major step forward. (Most county players today have to pay their own way.)

Is this a T20 league like WBBL?

Initially, yes – 2016 will see WCSL run as a T20 competition, alongside the existing Women’s County Championship and Women’s T20 Cup. But in 2017, the league will extend to embrace the 50-over One Day format.

Will it be on TV?

The ECB are certainly very hopeful in this regard – even raising the possibility that it could be on Free-To-Air TV. However, CRICKETher understands that this would require SKY’s agreement, as they currently own the rights to all cricket played under the auspices of the ICC in England and Wales; so at this stage the answer would have to be that it is “up in the air SKY”!

What happens to the Women’s County Championship?

Officially, nothing – it continues as before, and the ECB are committed to maintaining its funding; but they admit that once the “One Day” WCSL begins in 2017, we are unlikely to see the very top players playing county cricket again.

What happens to Scotland and Ireland?

In the words of Clare Connor… “Good question!” After 2018, they will not be permitted to take part in the Women’s County Championship; and their players will be considered “overseas” from the perspective of WCSL. (Though whether this is compatible with EU law is an open question, and may yet be one for the lawyers.)