2016 Women’s County Championship Preview

WHO’S GOING TO WIN IT?

Raf Nicholson: Yorkshire – They surprised everyone last year by breaking the Kent-Sussex domination of the County Championship honours board; and they’ve strengthened their bowling attack ahead of this season with the signing of Essex’s Beth Langston, who is rumoured to have recently clocked some of the quickest bowling times of any player in the England set-up.

Syd Egan: Kent – The shorter international window means they’ll have their England players for most of the season, and I wouldn’t bet against a repeat of 2014, when they cruised it with maximum points from their 6 completed games.

WHO’S GOING DOWN?

SE: I’m afraid Staffordshire might be this year’s Lancashire, who were relegated without winning a game last season; but who will be joining them? With 3 teams out of 9 going down over an 8 game season, honestly it’s a crapshoot – the likelihood is we’ll see 3 or 4 teams clustered around the relegation zone and it will come down to bonus points, so those are going to be critical – the whole thing could hang on someone getting one extra wicket or run to grab that additional BP.

RN: As Syd says, this is a difficult one to call, but I wonder if Surrey might find themselves in trouble – they struggled with the bat last season, being bowled out for the lowest ever total in a women’s county T20, and their bowling line-up was heavily reliant on their overseas player Rachel Candy (who won’t be returning) and Sarah Clarke (who doesn’t seem to have been included on their squad list).

WHO’LL GET PROMOTED?

RN: I think Worcestershire are in with a good shot. They finished 3rd in Div 2 last year; and they’re going into this season on the back of the introduction of new paid contracts for their players – a revolutionary step and one that can surely only increase player commitment and professionalism.

SE: I’ll be very surprised if Nottinghamshire don’t go straight back up – they’ve lost their England players, but they were pretty unlucky to get relegated by 3 bonus points last season; and I think the “ping-pong” might also extend to Lancashire – going up in 2016… and then straight back down again in 2017 when they lose three-quarters of their team to Super League!

T20 WINNERS

SE: Yorkshire look very strong for the T20s – Lauren Winfield… Katherine Brunt… Dani Hazell… Katie Levick… Beth Mooney. A lot will depend on Winfield’s batting though – she completely smashed county last season – if she can do that again, they’re going to be the team to beat.

RN: Sussex – who won the T20 Cup last year – are still looking a good bet. Of course they’ll miss Holly Colvin; but they’ve also signed up Danni Wyatt – and while she might not be able to quite rival Hol-Col with the ball, she’s certainly explosive enough with the bat to take them to victory.

BREAKTHROUGH KID?

RN: Sophia Dunkley (Middlesex) – Last season was a breakthrough one for Dunkley – selected into the England Academy squad on the back of successful performances with bat and ball. She’s just returned from the Academy tour of Sri Lanka, where by all accounts she performed well in difficult conditions, and I’m confident she’ll be one of Middlesex’s key assets in the coming season. And she’s still only 17!

SE: Sophie Luff (Somerset) – Aged 22, Luff has been one of the victims of professionalisation, in terms of England’s reluctance to look outside the contracted squad, even when they were struggling with the solidity of their batting lineup; but with Somerset promoted to Division 1, this is her big opportunity, and I’m backing her to seize it.

BEST OVERSEAS BUY?

SE: There’s a slightly second-string look to the overseas contingent this year, and let’s be honest, we all know why! (It begins with ‘M’, ends in ‘Y’, and has ‘ONE’ in the middle!) Warwickshire’s overseas is a case in point – to borrow Jimmy Ormond’s quip, she isn’t even the best player in her family; but then again when your surname is Lanning, that might not be so much of a problem! Of course Anna Lanning isn’t her sister, but she has a good cricketing brain and she could well be the difference between survival and relegation for Warwickshire this season.

RN: While she’s only here from June onwards, Yorkshire will be very happy to see Aussie Beth Mooney returning to their ranks. The depth she added to their batting order last season was crucial to their Championship success; and she joins them fresh from both a successful Women’s Big Bash stint and a call-up to the Southern Stars for the T20 World Cup.

OVERALL MVP?

SE: Heather Knight (Berkshire) – I’m just repeating what I said last year here; but I think it is even more the case now. As a batsman and as a bowler she remains the one player in the domestic game that can and will win you games single-handedly, and it feels like she really came of age as a captain in WBBL too. As a Berkshire fan, am I biased? Totally! But am I right? Yup – totally!

RN: Charlotte Edwards (Kent) – Yes, I’m also repeating myself, but I just don’t buy the criticism of Edwards which seems to have sprung up since the Ashes last summer. She’s still the best batsman in England by a country mile in my book, and her experience at county level – not to mention her captaincy ability, which has done a lot to bring on Kent’s younger players – makes her the obvious pick for MVP.

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Kia Super League: Thunder & Lightning Are Twop of the Twitts!

The Kia Super League might still be 3 months away, but off the pitch the battle is already hotting-up online between the marketing teams of the five* Twittering franchises hosts.

As a bit of fun we’ve powered-up the super-computer, run the big numbers, and calculated a sophisticated(!) “Impact Score” for each of the five* official Twitter accounts. (List here!)

Team Followers Tweets Impact Score
Lancashire Thunder 1,084 353 382,652
Loughborough Lightning 679 237 160,923
Yorkshire Diamonds 1,247 66 82,302
Southern Vipers 751 49 36,799
Western Storm 605 43 26,015

It’s early days of course, but already it is looking like Lancashire Thunder might have this one sewn up… unless Loughborough Lightning can pull something out of the bag? Or perhaps it will be Yorkshire Diamonds making a late run for the (ahem…!) Twitle?

More seriously though… kudos to the folks at Lancashire and Loughborough. The Super League will only be a success over the longer-term if it connects with the fans and Twitter is a great way of making that happen – keep up the good work guys!

————-

* Surrey don’t have an independent “Surrey Stars” Twitter account, so we’ve put them aside for the purpose of this analysis!

OPINION: The Curious Case of India and the Kia Super League

Guest writer Aparna M asks: why no Indian women in the Super League?

When the overseas players for the inaugural Kia Super League were announced earlier this month, there was a notable omission: players from India and Pakistan.

Why? Well, while we don’t have information about the missing Pakistan players, we did get some insights regarding why Indian women cricketers would not be part of the league. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said that they have not yet taken any decision on Indian women’s participation in the league – and that the BCCI was mulling over organizing something similar. 

Now, the request was sent to all the boards in January to show their interest in participating in the league. Why has it taken the BCCI so long to arrive at a decision? Earlier, they had not allowed Indian women cricketers to be part of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia. The reason cited was that India’s domestic season clashed with the tournament. Fair enough.

However, there is nothing scheduled for July and August for the Indian women’s team. In fact, the next assignment for them is in November. So then why were they not allowed to be part of the KSL player pool? Not all those in this pool got picked, of course; but even if a couple of Indian players had got an opportunity to be part of the KSL, it would surely only have helped them to develop their game further.

To improve you need to play more, not less. This could have been such a great learning opportunity for Indian players, both on and off the field. It could have helped them enhance their skills by playing with players from other countries, in turn also sharing their own experiences with their international teammates. Most importantly, when they returned home, they could have shared these experiences with the rest of the national team.

The question arises whether the players were even asked for their opinion. Did they have any say in the matter? Did they get to express their desire to be part of the league and put their names forward? Going by what Thakur has to say, we can safely assume a no to these questions. If by any chance the players were asked, it would be interesting to know their answers, since we have not heard from them as yet.

As for organizing their own women’s T20 tournament, it is a welcome decision by the BCCI. It is to be hoped that they put in maximum efforts to make this a huge success. However, is it going to happen this year? If not, then it makes no sense to not allow Indian players to be part of the KSL this year.

Regarding the possibility of a women’s IPL, some immediate questions come to mind. Would it be linked together with existing IPL teams, as the WBBL was in Australia? Would it be possible in the heat of April and May to have double headers, with the women’s matches held in the afternoons or even late afternoons? While the Women’s WT20 did garner a lot of publicity for the women’s game, many of the matches were still played out to empty stands. This would not be an ideal situation for any domestic women’s league.

The BCCI must take all these things into consideration when they roll out their women’s cricket league. And given the effort that they put into IPL, let’s have no half-hearted measures, please.

Kia Super League – James Piechowski’s Deep Cover Points – Lancashire Thunder & Yorkshire Diamonds

In the last of a multi-part special, James Piechowski takes an in-depth look at the Kia Super League squads, finishing with Lancashire Thunder and Yorkshire Diamonds, before making some final predictions.

Lancashire Thunder

Batsmen: 7
Bowlers: 5
All-rounders: 5
Pace bowling options: 5
Spin options: 4 (3 OB, SLA)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 0

Possible Team

  • Matthews, Lamb, Taylor*+, Wyatt, Dottin, Newton, Coyte, Miles, Threlkeld, Cross, Ecclestone

Strengths

  • Well balanced England and International selections
  • Powerful batting line-up which could post some big totals
  • Both pace and spin attacks look relatively strong in the wicket-taking department
  • Plenty of specialist batters and bowlers, supplemented by 3 quality all-rounders

Weaknesses

  • No Left handed batsmen – this will make it easier for opposition bowlers to maintain the line they are aiming for
  • Fragility – The likes of Taylor and Wyatt are known to give their wickets away sometimes, making the roles of Matthews, Dottin and Lamb important for stability as well as smashing runs. This could hamper their strike rate
  • Pace attack of Coyte, Cross and Dottin are known to concede a few too many runs at times, so Thunder will hope this doesn’t all happen on the same day.

Uncertainties

  • We don’t know if Taylor will take up all the responsibility of opening the batting and wicket keeping along with the captaincy. Thunder have another wicket keeper, Ellie Threlkeld, who will probably get into the side for her batting even if not wicket keeping. This could allow for Taylor to experiment with her roles, but she may choose not to anyway.

Prediction

  • One of the stronger sides on paper, Thunder definitely look set to make the finals day. They may be a bit hit-or-miss but could beat any of the other sides on their day. I think Thunder will be disappointed with not making the final, and they are strong contenders for the inaugural KSL title.

Yorkshire Diamonds

Batsmen: 5
Bowlers: 5
All-rounders: 5
Pace bowling options: 6
Spin options: 4 (2 OB, 2 LB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 2

Possible Team

  • Winfield*, Mooney+, Blackwell, Armitage, Brunt, Gunn, Spragg, Ismail, Hazell, Butler, Davidson-Richards

Strengths

  • “Challenger” team with some players looking to impress the England selectors. Winfield will be looking to make her case for England reselection into the T20 performance side
  • A very canny brains trust for Winfield to consult, lots of big match experience particularly from Blackwell, Gunn and Brunt
  • Generally strong and balanced squad with good mix of youth and also plenty of experience in both batting and bowling
  • Two aggressive opening bowlers Brunt and Ismail should work well in tandem and are sure to make the opposition aware of their presence. They could blow away a few in the powerplay
  • Both pace and spin attacks look strong

Weaknesses

  • There’s no denying that the Diamonds’ squad are short of specialist batting. The problem is exacerbated by there being only one batting all-rounder (Hollie Armitage) who was not exactly prolific with the bat in the recent England Academy tour. The only other KSL teams to have only five batsmen in their squads, also have more batting all-rounders to support them.
  • I think Diamonds would have liked another international batsman in their first XI line-up too. The batting order looks a little light after a strong top three. This could be a serious concern – unless the likes of Brunt and Gunn can contribute well, Diamonds may have to bring in their development bats Graves and Nicholls, and bowling options then suffer.

Uncertainties

  • Diamonds may choose to play leg-spinner Katie Levick if Hollie Armitage is not able to bowl her allocation of leg-breaks.

Prediction

  • Another strong contender, Diamonds should be able to reach finals day with a top-four finish, providing the the top three don’t give Brunt and Gunn too much work to do. Whether their batting will be strong enough to get further is another question, but they do have one of the stronger bowling attacks to limit opposition totals. I am not sure they will be able to get further but a place in the final is certainly within their reach.

Summary

Exit at Group Stage

  • Surrey Stars
  • Loughborough Lightning

Predicted Qualifiers (semi-finalists)

  • Yorkshire Diamonds
  • Southern Vipers

Finalist

  • Lancashire Thunder

Winner

  • Western Storm

Kia Super League – James Piechowski’s Deep Cover Points – Southern Vipers & Loughborough Lightning

In a multi-part special, James Piechowski takes an in-depth look at the Kia Super League squads, continuing with Southern Vipers and Loughborough Lightning.

Southern Vipers

Batsmen: 7
Bowlers: 5
All-rounders: 3
Pace bowling options: 7
Spin options: 3 (2 OB, 1LB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 2

Possible Team

  • Edwards*, Bates, McGlashan, Adams, Greenway, Brindle, Rudd+, Schutt, Morris, Farrant, Gardner

Strengths

  • Experience. The top six batsmen are all very experienced players, capable of constructing an innings, and know just how to pace a reply
  • One of the better pace attacks in the KSL,which should take early wickets
  • Plenty of knowledge and experience in game management, in an on-field brains trust that includes Edwards, Bates, McGlashan, Greenway and Brindle

Weaknesses

  • Lack of spin options in their International and Academy players means that Vipers will have to pick one or two more development players than other sides to get any spin options at all.
  • Academy players do not necessarily fit the team structure as well as some of their “county” players. Georgia Adams, who had a good recent Academy tour of Sri Lanka, is the only one of three such players looking certain to play
  • Batting order, although experienced, is perhaps not the most explosive in the KSL
  • Vipers may be at a risk of limiting themselves as they do not have much batting below the top six and so cannot give too many quick wickets away.
  • Inexperienced spin attack may lead to over-reliance on pace, and Vipers conceding more runs in the field.

Uncertainties

  • We don’t know if, or how much, Arran Brindle will bowl

Prediction

  • I think the Vipers’ experience will see them to the top four, and finals day, but they may struggle to progress past this point, against sides with more flexible spin bowling attacks and more aggressive batting.

Loughborough Lightning

Batsmen: 5
Bowlers: 2
All-rounders: 8
Pace bowling options: 7
Spin options: 3 (SLA, LB, OB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 2

Possible Team

  • A. Jones +, Van Niekerk, Perry, Devine, Elwiss*, E. Jones, Odedra, Scholfield, MacDonald, Langston, Grundy

Strengths

  • Exciting and dynamic batting line-up who won’t hold back on their shots, but also have some solidity to back it up
  • Some of the best all-rounders in world cricket
  • Plenty of wicket-taking bowling options, both in spin and particularly the pace attack
  • Most bowlers can also bat, which frees up a slot for any development player, appropriate to the situation
  • “Challenger” team with many players looking to impress the England selectors

Weaknesses

  • Relatively young and inexperienced team overall in T20
  • A glut of all-rounders, which may make it difficult to know the best XI and establish a good, stable batting order
  • Too few specialist bowlers increases the likelihood of a bad day in the field.
  • Their two main spin bowlers, Grundy and Van Niekerk both turn the ball the same way
  • Inexperienced captain in Elwiss, who may have to draw heavily on the field from a brains trust including the experience of Perry and Devine

Uncertainties

  • Lightning are in a similar position to Surrey Stars in that they probably have too many all rounders. Again, this makes it difficult to predict an accurate batting order.

Prediction

  • Lightning have a shot at a top four place. They should be able to beat anyone on their day. They could be a bit of a hit-or-miss side, and may lack the experience to go all the way in the tournament though. Getting through to finals day may be tight, but if they can do it, it will show their potential.

Kia Super League – James Piechowski’s Deep Cover Points – Surrey Stars & Western Storm

In a multi-part special, James Piechowski takes an in-depth look at the Kia Super League squads, starting with Surrey Stars and Western Storm.

Now the squads are fully announced, the key thing that strikes me is how balanced they are – the efforts to ensure a fair distribution of England Performance and Academy squad players looks to have reasonably effective. It is difficult to see, when facing conflicting interests to balance player and club interests, all the while trying to evaluate how much influence each player may provide, how the ECB could have done much better. Maybe Loughborough were left looking a bit raw in terms of experience, but they were given an extra Academy player to compensate. After being handed four strong looking England players, Yorkshire Diamonds may have looked to bolster their batting more from their imports, knowing that the other players coming in from the Academy or County could struggle to offer much with the bat. And Southern Vipers could have at least chosen an International spin bowling all-rounder knowing that they were struggling for spin options elsewhere.

It will be interesting to learn whether it turns out to be more advantageous for a team to have a strong squad all the way through, or whether the standard of the best players (the first XI) will be more important. As it is such a short competition, taking place over the course of only 3 weeks, the latter is perhaps more likely to be the case, as there is not long enough for players to acquire many injuries and squad players to come into effect. Also, the conditions are not likely to be hot enough to tire players out to the extent that resting players or fitness will be an issue.

One notable feature of the squad selections which I’ve not heard brought up yet is the lack if international spin imports. Among the players we perhaps could have expected to see, but are absent are the likes of Erin Osborne, Kristen Beams, Grace Harris, Morna Nielsen, Leigh Kasperek, Yolani Fourie and Sune Luus to name but a few. Indeed Harris would have been an ideal addition for Southern Vipers. It seems that most of the teams have decided to forgo additional quality spin options and rely chiefly on their medium pace attack. There is an exception to this, in the Western Storm, whose innovation in this regard could prove vital. Perhaps there will be higher batting scores in the league than we expect, as there will be more pace on the ball.

Surrey Stars

Batsmen: 5
Bowlers: 2
All-rounders: 8
Pace bowling options: 4
Spin options: 4 (3 OB, 1 LB)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 1

Possible Team

  • Beaumont, White+, Lanning, Kapp, Sciver*, Morgan, Smith, Dunkley, Farrell, Marsh, Hartley

Strengths

  • Good balance of International players
  • Meg Lanning
  • Economical opening bowlers: Kapp and Farrell
  • Flexible line-up with plenty of bowling options, both medium pace and spin
  • One of the better spin attacks in KSL

Weaknesses

  • The young captain, Nat Sciver will have to draw on an on-field brains trust including Lanning, Morgan, Marsh, Kapp and more. There is plenty of experience available but any competing opinions may be difficult to manage.
  • A glut of all-rounders, which may make it difficult to know the best XI and establish a good, stable batting order
  • Too few specialist bowlers increases the likelihood of a bad day in the field.
  • Batting order may be prone to loss of quick wickets, leaving one established player to manage the last few all-rounders in scraping together a score

Uncertainties

  • We don’t know if Beaumont will take up the wicket keeping gloves or if Kirstie White will. If Beaumont does keep, it would allow the Stars to either strengthen the batting or provide more bowling options.

Prediction

  • They are not the strongest side on paper, despite the inclusion of Lanning. Their success or otherwise will largely depend on how she does and if the others can provide adequate support. The Stars may struggle to reach the top four and get into finals day, but it’s certainly possible for them. The squad will need to gel quickly, play well, and cause an upset or two to progress though.

Western Storm

Batsmen: 6
Bowlers: 2
All-rounders: 7
Pace bowling options: 5
Spin options: 4 (3 OB, 1 SLA)
Wicket Keeping options: 2
Left-Handed Batsmen: 0

Possible Team

  • Priest+, Taylor, Knight*, Wilson, Luff, Lee, Fairbairn, Dibble, Shrubsole, Westbury, Davies

Strengths

  • Batting order is both strong and long, with a good mix of aggression and stability
  • Effective, experienced spin attack looks the strongest in the KSL, with the off-breaks of Knight, Taylor and Westbury supported by left arm spin from Dibble
  • Two good pace bowlers to back them up, in Shrubsole and Davies
  • “Challenger” team with some players looking to impress the England selectors
  • Knight’s captaincy has been effective in the WBBL and she can use the experience from that, plus draw from an on-field brains trust including world-cup winning captain Taylor

Weaknesses

  • No Left handed batsmen – this will make it easier for opposition bowlers to maintain the line they are aiming for
  • Too few specialist bowlers increases the likelihood of a bad day in the field.
  • Possibly over-reliant on spin. Any injuries to their 2 main medium pace bowlers, Shrubsole and Davies, will leave the bowling reserve bench looking a little empty.
  • Davies was not one of the more successful bowlers in the recent England Academy tour.

Uncertainties

  • A difficult batting order to predict. Lee could play anywhere from three down to six, or even open; likewise Knight.

Prediction

  • Storm look a good bet to make the top four and finals day. They are one of the stronger sides on paper, with relatively few weaknesses, bar medium pace bowling backup. They have a  good chance at winning the tournament overall, and should be disappointed if they don’t make the final.

Kia Super League – Some Analysis, Predictions… & Who We’re Supporting!

Now the lineups are finalised, we take a look at the 6 squads and offer some recklessly early predictions, which will doubtless come back to haunt us later this summer… plus, we reveal who we’re supporting!

Yorkshire Diamonds

Syd: Their squad looks hopelessly lopsided – they have 7 internationals, which leaves 4 spots for the county players… all-bar-one of whom is a bowler, which means I think we might be looking at 2-3 specialist outfielders!

Prediction: Group Stages

Raf: They’ve got Jenny Gunn, so that clearly makes the Diamonds one of the strongest pace bowling line-ups in the competition… but Twenty20 is a batsman’s game, and with a squad that’s disproportionately made up of bowlers, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Prediction: Group Stages

Loughborough Lightning

Syd: They look a very balanced side, with a lot of all-rounders; and I like that someone hasn’t forgotten about Sonia Odedra – despite the disappointments she suffered in 2015, with Notts’ relegation and being dropped from the England setup, she is still a quality player with a heck of a lot to offer both as a batsman and a bowler.

Prediction: Final

Raf: Naming Elwiss as captain is possibly a bit of a risk; but it’s hard to see past a team that includes not just Ellyse Perry but Dane van Niekerk AND Sophie Devine. With access to the best cricket facilities in the country, I think it might just prove impossible for the other teams to #CatchTheLightning so they are who I’m supporting!

Prediction: Winners

Surrey Stars

Syd: Their Melbourne namesakes were basically “The Meg Lanning Show” – when she performed they won, and when she didn’t they didn’t, and I wonder if that might be the case here too? But I do have to say that I like their talented youngsters – Alex Hartley, Sophia Dunkley and Cordelia Griffith – so I’m hoping they can step up and shine a home-grown light.

Prediction: Semis

Raf: A good mixture of experience (great to see Beth Morgan in their line-up) and youth (I suspect KSL could be the making of Alex Hartley); but as a Middlesex fan, I just can’t bring myself to support a team with “Surrey” in the title!

Prediction: Semis

Western Storm

Syd: This is “My” team, I think – what a batting line-up! With a great mix of powerful hitters like Priest and Lee, and more “anchory” players like Wilson and Luff, and then Knight able to play either game according to how the dice fall, I think they are set to do some maximum damage on the good pitches we are expecting for KSL. They do come with a word of warning though: if you go to watch… just don’t park your car too near the boundary!

Prediction: Winners

Raf: With the likes of Izzy Westbury, Fran Wilson, Sophie Luff, Anya Shrubsole and Lizelle Lee, this is clearly a side with the advantage of #BathLove – and one with talent in all departments: including one of the world’s leading wicketkeepers in Rachel Priest. Could go far… but will they?

Prediction: Semis

Lancashire Thunder

Syd: They got dead-lucky with the withdrawal of Jess Jonassen, allowing them to pick the player of the moment Hayley Matthews instead; so they are very strong on the international front; but ALL their county players are from the Lancashire side who were relegated without winning a game in Div 1 last season; so 10 points for loyalty, but I think they’ll find it very tough.

Prediction: Group Stages

Raf: They’re looking strong in the spin department with both up-and-coming Academy star Sophie Ecclestone (who had a pretty decent tour of Sri Lanka), as well as their new signing Hayley Matthews; but I still think they might struggle to make Finals Day.

Prediction: Group Stages

Southern Vipers

Syd: They’ve got Lottie… they’ve got Suzie Bates… and yet somehow I’m still not quite convinced. I’m super-pleased for ex Academy glove-butler Carla Rudd and Berkshire fast bowler Daisy Gardner though – they totally deserve their opportunity in Super League and I’ll be rooting for them… when they aren’t up against the Storm!

Prediction: Semis

Raf: I wouldn’t bet against (or want to bowl against!) any side that has Arran Brindle in its middle order; and it seems a distinct advantage that coach Nick Denning and Berkshire players Daisy Gardner, Lissy Macleod, Fi Morris and Carla Rudd will all be used to working together. And that’s without mentioning the little matter of Edwards and Bates opening the batting!

Prediction: Final

Kia Super League Squads – Facts & Figures

Age Old Questions

  • The average age of a KSL player is 24.
  • Lancashire Thunder have both the oldest (Laura Newton, 38) and youngest (Sophie Ecclestone, 16) players.
  • Southern Vipers are the oldest team (average age 25).
  • Lancashire Thunder are the youngest team (average age 23).

Counting The Counties

  • Sussex, Yorkshire, Kent and Lancashire have the most KSL players – 8 each.
  • Of the D1 counties, Staffordshire have the fewest players – just 2 – Eve Jones and Steph Butler.
  • Aside from the overseas players, three players didn’t play county or other top-level cricket in 2015 – Laura Newton, Arran Brindle and Rosalie Fairbairn (née Birch) – in the latter two cases, due to maternity.

Role Play

Based on the player’s primary role for the current county or country, there are:

  • 35 bowlers.
  • 25 all-rounders.
  • 22 batsmen.
  • 8 wicket keepers.

NEWS: Full Kia Super League Squads

Lancashire Thunder

  1. Kate Cross (EW)
  2. Sarah Taylor (EW) (Capt)
  3. Danielle Wyatt (EW)
  4. Sarah Coyte (O)
  5. Deandra Dottin (O)
  6. Hayley Matthews (O)
  7. Sophie Ecclestone (EWA)
  8. Emma Lamb (EWA)
  9. Ellie Threlkeld (EWA)
  10. Natalie Brown
  11. Georgia Holmes
  12. Laura Marshall
  13. Natasha Miles
  14. Laura Newton
  15. Nalisha Patel

Loughborough Lightning

  1. Georgia Elwiss (EW) (Capt)
  2. Rebecca Grundy (EW)
  3. Amy Jones (EW)
  4. Beth Langston (EW)
  5. Sophie Devine (O)
  6. Ellyse Perry (O)
  7. Dane van Nierkerk (O)
  8. Evelyn Jones (EWA)
  9. Alex MacDonald (EWA)
  10. Georgie Boyce
  11. Thea Brookes
  12. Amy Gauvrit
  13. Lauren Griffiths
  14. Sonia Odedra
  15. Paige Scholfield

Southern Vipers

  1. Charlotte Edwards (EW) (Capt)
  2. Natasha Farrant (EW)
  3. Lydia Greenway (EW)
  4. Suzie Bates (O)
  5. Sara McGlashan (O)
  6. Megan Schutt (O)
  7. Georgia Adams (EWA)
  8. Ellen Burt (EWA)
  9. Katie George (EWA)
  10. Arran Brindle
  11. Isabelle Collis
  12. Daisy Gardner
  13. Alice Macleod
  14. Fi Morris
  15. Carla Rudd

Surrey Stars

  1. Tammy Beaumont (EW)
  2. Laura Marsh (EW)
  3. Natalie Sciver (EW) (Capt)
  4. Rene Farrell (O)
  5. Marizanne Kapp (O)
  6. Meg Lanning (O)
  7. Sophia Dunkley (EWA)
  8. Alex Hartley (EWA)
  9. Bryony Smith (EWA)
  10. Aylish Cranstone
  11. Grace Gibbs
  12. Cordelia Griffith
  13. Raveena Lakhtaria
  14. Beth Morgan
  15. Kirstie White

Western Storm

  1. Heather Knight (EW) (Capt)
  2. Anya Shrubsole (EW)
  3. Fran Wilson (EW)
  4. Lizelle Lee (O)
  5. Rachel Priest (O)
  6. Stafanie Taylor (O)
  7. Freya Davies (EWA)
  8. Sophie Luff (EWA)
  9. Amara Carr
  10. Jodie Dibble
  11. Rosalie Fairbairn
  12. Georgia Hennessy
  13. Sophie Mackenzie
  14. Cait O’Keefe
  15. Izzy Westbury

Yorkshire Diamonds

  1. Katherine Brunt (EW)
  2. Jenny Gunn (EW)
  3. Danielle Hazell (EW)
  4. Lauren Winfield (EW) (Capt)
  5. Alex Blackwell (O)
  6. Beth Mooney (O)
  7. Shabnim Ismail (O)
  8. Hollie Armitage (EWA)
  9. Steph Butler (EWA)
  10. Alice Davidson Richards
  11. Teresa Graves
  12. Katie Levick
  13. Anna Nicholls
  14. Laura Spragg
  15. Katie Thompson

NEWS: Warwickshire Sign England’s Gunn

England’s Jenny Gunn has followed Danni Wyatt out of the door at Nottinghamshire, making the move across the Midlands to Warwickshire.

Notts were relegated from Division 1 of the Women’s County Championship at the end of last season; and an exeat was therefore expected as their England players seek to maintain a high standard of domestic cricket.

In 10 seasons at Notts, Gunn scored nearly 3,000 runs at an impressive average of 46 (helped by a fair few of Not Outs) and took 83 wickets, including her domestic career-best 5-3 against Kent last season.

The signing is a massive boost for Warwickshire, who have been to the brink of relegation themselves a number of times recently, but have acquired the useful  knack of somehow clinging on.