As the Women's World Cup draws to a close, some of the best u19 women's talent is out in Dubai for the inaugural MCC Women's U19 ARCH Trophy. There are eight teams out there who will play in two groups of four initially, and then the trophy will be contested between the two group winners.
The two groups are
At first glance Group A favourites will probably be the MCC side, which has been selected from the England U19 development squad, but many of the EWDP U19s were already committed to the tournament for their counties, including five of the Devon squad and four in the Sussex squad. The MCC squad obviously have the potential to perform well and will expect a lot of themselves, but they will be pushed all the way by Devon and Essex, with Durham the potential West Indies of the group.
In Group B Scotland will be looking to show how far women's cricket has come north of the border, but they will have their work cut out against experienced county sides Lancashire (last season's U17 county champions) and Sussex (including one academy and four EWDP players) and Wales.
The first round of fixtures start on Monday, with the following games :-
Sussex v Lancashire
Scotland v Wales
Durham v Essex
You should be able to follow the scores live on CricHQ (http://www.crichq.com/competitions/328-u19-women-s-arch-trophy-2013), if scorers use the system over in UAE and I will be tweeting updates (@wmnscricketblog) as and when I get them, using the hashtag #archtrophy. Match scores and reports will be posted to this blog during the week. It should be a great week for all the girls.