All rounder Lissy Macleod has been appointed the new Berkshire captain. With Heather Knight stepping down from the role due to her international commitments with England in a home World Cup summer, Macleod was the obvious candidate to take over, having made over 100 appearances for the Beavers since her debut in 2008, with 14 fifties, 1 century, and 77 wickets to her name. Knight will continue to play for Berkshire where her schedule allows.
England spinner Alex Hartley has re-signed for Lancashire after 4 seasons at Middlesex. Hartley first emerged through the Lancashire youth system, but joined Middlesex to reboot a career which had appeared to be stalled at the time – a smart move, which ended with her being awarded a full England contract off the back of her international debut last summer.
Also heading to Lancashire is England Academy batsman Eve Jones, as the side look to avoid the fate they suffered last time they were promoted to Div 1, when they were sent immediately back down to Div 2 after 8 straight defeats.
Notts – the other newly promoted county in Div 1 – have also been shopping, acquiring Jodie Dibble from Devon, Lucy Higham from Leicestershire and Megan Burton from Wales. Dibble dropped out of the national squad last year, and had a pretty indifferent Super League for the Western Storm; but she is only 22 and it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that Notts represents a way back for her to some day add to her one England cap.
Despite the disappointment of not winning a Super League franchise last year, Middlesex have taken the bold step of appointing Danni Warren as their new Head of Women’s Cricket, to oversee both the county and MCC sides. Warren made over 100 appearances for the county between 2002-2015, taking more than 150 wickets.
Having lost Hartley, Middlesex will be looking very much to youth this season, and have promoted both Gayatri Gole and Katie Wolfe from their U19 squad, as they try to improve on last season’s narrow scrape with relegation in Div 1.
Hampshire narrowly missed out on promotion from Div 2 last season, but it will be a different business down at the Ageas Bowl this year. With Charlotte Edwards and now New Zealand captain Suzie Bates also signed up to play county cricket in 2017, Hampshire are clearly making a big long-term play for a future in the women’s game, keeping their eggs in both the KSL and county baskets, ahead of the likelihood of further fluidity* in the structure of women’s domestic cricket in 2019/20.
* We don’t have any inside info on this; but with the changes coming to The Other Game, we suspect the logical move would be to create parallel women’s teams, and if the Super League is still going in 2021, we’ll eat our own pizzas!!
Not sure Hampshire allowing Bates to get extra practice and matches to aid her preparation for the World Cup is a good thing.
I’m surprised Edwards didn’t put a stop to it.
Think we can be pretty certain Charlotte Edwards was the one who put a START to it – her job (literally, the thing she is paid to do now) is to do the best she can for Hampshire and the Vipers – I’m sure she’d love to see England win the WC, but Hampshire/ Vipers come first now… and why not?
As a middle view, perhaps Lottie doesn’t see Div 2 county championship as any sort of preparation for a World Cup !
Can’t agree Syd. Everyone should be workiing to one goal. Unlike in the men’s game Hampshire are not professional so they haven’t even got that as an excuse.
Edwards I’m sure would be furious if she was captain of England. Having done the job herself you would have expected her to do the right thing.
How can you say she should put Hampshires interest before her countries needs? That’s the type of attitude that has held our National men’s teams back for years.
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Don’t see the issue with Bates at Hampshire? It’s the sort of experience we’d love for any of our players to be able to have and I’d like to see the favour returned in future (logistics permitted) regardless of who organises it – surely this can only be a good thing for women’s cricket as a whole, bigger picture folks!
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If Edwards and Bates bat 5 & 6 for Hampshire I can see some benefit, but somehow I don’t think they will…
It seems a very short sighted decision to me. Of course there will be a knock on benefit of Bates passing on her experience but no one can argue we are helping one of the best players in the world get ready to play against us. That can’t be right surely.
Quite a few of the overseas players will be here to play county cricket before the WWC17. Bates will be playing in Div 2 & her games will be against Wales, Worcs, Surrey, Derby & Staffs. It will be time in the middle, but not against the best bowlers in England.
If we win or lose no need for excuses. Making the knock out stages would a minimum expectation for what is still a new England team.
Yes this is the highest profile event commercially and in terms of rebuilding our profile against women’s hockey, football, netball and rugby (all now offering genuine team sport options for girls) success is vital. But I still await the Ashes as the toughest test of this team’s development.
PS You could even find some overseas players seeking competitive men’s league cricket to prepare.
Totally agree it shouldn’t be used as an excuse. I also would say though it’s poor form from Hampshire and CE.
The counties who signed Australians before the last Ashes got heavily criticised for putting their own interest before Alaster Cooks team. That’s in the World of Professional sport where you perhaps could understand why a club might do it.
I’m in agreement with WL, it’s this type of club before country attitude that has held back our men’s teams for years.