Sussex Chief Exec Zac Toumazi has responded to this week’s announcement of the Super League franchises hosts by saying he wishes the competition “every success”… before going on to damningly question the ability of the project to deliver on its key goals.
Sussex gave serious consideration at the highest levels to the idea of bidding to be a host, but in the end decided against doing so – a “strategic decision” which Toumazi attributes rather mysteriously to “a number of factors”.
Rumour has it that fundamental to this was the refusal of the ECB to guarantee the availability of key players from the county to the Super League team; so there is apparently some surprise at Sussex that other hosts (e.g. Yorkshire re. Katherine Brunt and Lancashire re. Kate Cross) do seem to have been given just such assurances.
More generally there was the feeling that Sussex have invested significant time and money in the development of players, the rewards of which they deserved to reap themselves, rather than see leak away to other teams via the stroke of an ECB pen.
Nevertheless far from walking away, Toumazi promises to double-down on the county’s efforts, with an innovative new coaching program for 2016, building on the county’s success at grassroots and elite levels, which Sussex argue will provide a “sustainable future” for the women’s game in terms of both participation and performance… with the clear implication that they believe the Super League will not.
Without the continued efforts of the counties and clubs the WSL would have no longevity, but as yet it seems those outside this initiative have to carry on regardless.
Counties already lose control of their star players in the ECB pathway and now they will have more players being given an additional workload in the form of the WSL, for no compensation.
As a New Zealander who knows next to nothing about the internal politics of English women’s cricket, are the criticisms of the WSL basically sour grapes from those who missed out on hosting rights, or are they making valid points?
The WBBL is now (rightly) being viewed as a huge success, but there were doubts about that before it started. Would a successful first WSL season quickly put paid to the doubts currently being raised?
Phase one of WCSL is a four year process…it won’t happen overnight. If you look at what happened in Soccer and Netball it wasn’t plain sailing initially but both are now well covered on TV with sponsorship. Like WCSL the netball super league did not have a male precedence to follow. There is no doubt it is a risk…but if it pays off the potential benefits are massive.
Many counties have been demanding better standards of competition for years…this is a step in the right direction and with hard work could become the catalyst for improvements in women & girls cricket at every level that everyone has been demanding. That will definately have to be underpinned by the counties and renewed development of club cricket.
It certainly won’t do that if we don’t give it a chance and all do our bit to make it work!!
One constant issue is the difficulty of breaking into the England set up because the contracted players train full time and have the best support.
The WCSL would address this by increasing the pool of players who get the best coaching (if that is what happens) but will it? The big problem is that the women are not professional and so how will they find the time to train (and travel if you don’t have a team in your area).
A concern I have is that, once it goes to 50 overs, (if it ever does) WCSL will kill the County Cha
mp and have a huge impact on the clubs many of which are already struggling for players.
Season 1 should in effect be a controlled environment beyond that will be a test of longevity and strength in depth of the talent pool.
Whether the WSL structure will energise all below or show it to be flawed and in need of a revamp only time will tell.
Personally I would like to see a consultation with counties on the future of the structure – outside of the franchisers
“More generally there was the feeling that Sussex have invested significant time and money in the development of players, the rewards of which they deserved to reap themselves, rather than see leak away to other teams via the stroke of an ECB pen.”
Don’t sympathise I’m afraid, it already happens that counties lower down the divisions develop quality players only to see them move on to higher divisions under dubious ‘loan’ agreements. So how will it be different if a div 1 county loses a player to the SL? Indeed Sussex themselves have gained the odd player from lower divisions!