The ECB have announced that the 8 regional Centres of Excellence will compete in a 50-over competition for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy later this season, honouring one of England’s greatest former captains, as the men are doing with the Bob Willis Trophy.
It has also been confirmed that the 8 team names are:
- Central Sparks (Warwickshire CCC & Worcestershire CCC, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire)
- Lightning (Loughborough University, Derbyshire CCC, Leicestershire CCC, Nottinghamshire CCC, Lincolnshire)
- Northern Diamonds (Yorkshire CCC, Durham CCC, Northumberland)
- Thunder (Lancashire CCC, Cheshire, Cumbria)
- South East Stars (Surrey CCC, Kent CCC)
- Southern Vipers (Hampshire Cricket Ltd, Sussex CCC, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire)
- Sunrisers (Middlesex CCC, Essex CCC, Northamptonshire CCC, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk)
- Western Storm (Glamorgan CCC, Gloucestershire CCC, Somerset CCC, Cricket Wales, Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire)
These teams will compete in 2 regional groups, playing each other twice, with Sparks, Lightning, Diamonds and Thunder contesting the “North” group; and Stars, Vipers, Sunrisers and Storm the “South”. The group winners will play off for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in the final on Saturday 26 September.
Squads will be confirmed shortly, and (quote) “the availability of England Women’s Centrally Contracted players will be known once the international schedule has been confirmed.”