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!!