England are looking set to host South Africa and New Zealand in a packed summer of international cricket in 2018.
England’s season will begin with the 3 ICC Women’s Championship ODIs against South Africa in June, before New Zealand come to the party for a 6-match round-robin T20 Tri-Series, culminating in a final on 1st July, at the County Ground in Chelmsford.
New Zealand will then play their 3 Championship ODIs versus England in mid-July, prior to the Kia Super League, which all of the top players are of course expected to stay on for.
With the World T20 coming up in the Caribbean that autumn, the T20 Tri-Series will act as both an early warm-up and an important yardstick of the teams’ progress in the game’s shortest format. South Africa and New Zealand will both be among the leading teams challenging for the World T20 trophy, so next summer will represent a stern test for England as they look to add a second world crown to the World Cup they won last summer!
ICC Women’s Championship ODIs v South Africa
9 June – First ODI v South Africa – New Road, Worcester, 11am
12 June – Second ODI v South Africa – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove (D/N), 1pm
15 June – Third ODI v South Africa – Canterbury (D/N), 2pm
T20 Tri-Series – England, South Africa & New Zealand
20 June – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, South Africa v New Zealand, 1pm start; England v South Africa, 5:40pm
23 June – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, England v South Africa, 1pm start; England v New Zealand, 5:40pm
28 June – The Brightside Ground, Bristol, South Africa v New Zealand, 1pm start; England v New Zealand, 5:40pm
1 July – Final – The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, 3pm
ICC Women’s Championship ODIs v New Zealand
7 July – First ODI v New Zealand – Emerald Headingley, 11am
10 July – Second ODI v New Zealand – The 3aaa County Ground, Derby (D/N), 1pm
13 July – Third ODI v New Zealand – The Fischer County Ground, Grace Road (D/N), 2pm
Kia Super League Finals Day
27 August – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove
How is the game supposed to grow if:
a) the girls are in school when the games are on
b) their parents have to buy Sky for coverage
After the success of the ICC World Cup there is no excuse for poor scheduling.
It is good to see the increase in performance opportunity for England Women.
However, what effect will these games, the extended Kia Super League and unavailability of the selected players have on the County Championship, County T20 and the Women’s Premier League and leagues below?
Over the past season the Counties and League teams have suffered through non availability of their England squad players. Even the squad players who did not play ANY games for the England team were not allowed to play for their counties. Although sometimes it seemed a select few gained special permission to play County games.
Why was this not applied to all fringe players, allowing them all some game time?
Or are some players given permission to play County matches but the players themselves choose not to?
On the other side of the coin it gives opportunities to younger players to play in County matches or Premier League games.
But do all the teams have that depth of player availability?
I believe the County fixtures are being squeezed in early in the Summer 2018, but it is highly likely the potential England players will still be unavailable for preparation and training. School and university students will have exams throughout May and June so they too will be unavailable for many of the early fixtures.
This is a tricky time for Counties and League teams, but the experience for younger players to play alongside team mates who are England players is a very valuable one, but opportunities are diminishing.
“This is a tricky time for Counties and League teams…”
We are working on a piece on this – watch this space 😉