The Women’s Regional T20 Competition has been named the Charlotte Edwards Cup.
The competition, which begins this weekend, sees the eight women’s regional teams go head to head in T20 cricket for the first time.
The move comes after the ECB’s decision to maintain the branding of the 50-over regional competition as the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, following widespread praise at their decision last season to honour one of the greats of the game.
Charlotte Edwards CBE made her international debut in 1996 against New Zealand aged just 16 years old, making her at that point the youngest player ever to represent England. She went on to represent England for two decades, retiring in May 2016. During that time she was a prolific run-scorer; she holds the record for most ODI runs ever scored by an English woman, with 5992 to her name, putting her second on the all-time list in women’s ODIs.
In 2006 she became England captain, and she went on to lead England to two World Cup wins in the space of 12 months in 2009, and three Ashes wins, including back-to-back series wins in 2013 and 2014.
She played in the first-ever international T20 match, against New Zealand at Hove in 2004, and is England Women’s leading run-scorer in IT20 cricket.
Edwards is of course also the current coach of Southern Vipers, which raises the amusing prospect of it being Charlotte Edwards who raises the inaugural Charlotte Edwards Trophy come September!
ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said: “It’s powerful to be able to connect the women’s regional game with such iconic figures in women’s cricket. Last year we named the 50 over competition after Rachael Heyhoe Flint, and now this.”
“There are numerous individuals who have served English cricket with distinction who we could have chosen, but we felt with Lottie’s relevance to the T20 game and her excellence as a player in the international T20 format, it was most fitting for the competition to take her name.“
Charlotte Edwards said: “It’s a huge honour to have my name attached to the competition. The regional players who’ll take part in the competition are at the beginning of such an exciting journey, and the pathway has progressed and developed so far since I was in their position.”
“I hope, like we saw with the Rachael Heyhoe Flint, that players from across the eight teams can continue to impress at regional level and push hard for international selection. The new domestic set-up is a real game-changer for women’s cricket in this country and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”