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.