Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Opening Div 1 & 2 fixtures of Women's County Championship

Here are the Div 1 & 2 fixtures for the first weekend of the 2016 Royal London Women's One Day Championship, this Sunday and Monday.

Division 1

Middlesex v Surrey at Eastcote CC
Somerset v Kent at Taunton CC
Staffs v Berks at Wolverhampton CC
Warks v Sussex at Edgbaston Foundation Ground

MondayStaffs v Somerset at Meakins CC
Surrey v Berks at Reed's School
Sussex v Kent at The Saffrons, Eastbourne
Yorks v Warks at Harrogate CC

Defending champions Yorkshire start their season on Monday against Jenny Gunn's new county, Warwickshire. It could be a good game if the weather holds out with both sides at full strength as far as is known, with Beth Langston making her Yorkshire debut.
Key match of the weekend is probably the Sussex v Kent clash on Monday. The previous day Sussex will have taken on Warwickshire and Kent will be back from their trip to Taunton to take on newbies Somerset. Whoever wins (assuming it will not be a tie like last year) will have the upper hand for the season.
The other newbies Staffs will have their work cut out against Berkshire and Somerset, but they will hope home advantage can inspire them to their first Div 1 win.
Surrey make the short trip to Middlesex for their Sunday game, which could be quite spicey, and are then at home on Monday to Berkshire, as Middlesex get the day off.
With three teams relegated any team that can come away from the weekend with two wins under their belts will be breathing more easily for the rest of the season. Two losses and the pressure will be on, with only six more games to play.

Division 2 fixtures
Essex v Wales at Billericay CC
Hants v Devon at Hursley Park CC
Notts v Leicestershire at Welbeck CC

Essex v Devon at Felsted School
Lancs v Notts at Wigan Sports Club
Leicestershire v Wales at Empingham CC

In Div 2 there are just eight teams this year. Lancs will be looking to bounce straight back into Div 1 next year after being relegated after just one season in the top league. They start their season on Monday against fellow relagatees, Notts, now denuded of England girls Jenny Gunn and Dani Wyatt, but who will have played the day before against Div 2 newbies Leicestershire. Both games could be an important barometer of Notts' chances this season.
Devon will hope to prove to Hampshire that life will be tough for them in Div 2, before journeying to Essex for the Monday clash. Devon have under-achieved over the past few years. Could this be their season?
Wales have a long trip to Essex, and then on to Empingham, near Stamford, for their game against Leicestershire. They will be keen not to come away empty-handed, but it could be tough.
Worcestershire are the other Div 2 team, but their season does not get underway until 15th May.

Fingers crossed the rain stays away.


Monday, 25 April 2016

Women's County Championship Div 1 2016 - Preview & Fixtures

The 2016 Women's County Championship (this year called the Royal London One Day Championship) starts on Sunday and will feature nine teams in Division One again this year. Promoted from Division Two were Somerset and Staffordshire. They join Yorkshire, Kent, Sussex, Berkshire, Middlesex, Surrey, and Warwickshire. Relegated from Div 1 last year were Lancashire and Notts.

Each team will play each other just once and the team that finishes top of Division One at the end of the season will be the champions.

But, with the proposed expansion of the Kia Super League to 50 over cricket in 2017, the number of teams in Division One for 2017 will be reduced to 8, with all the county championship games being played at the same time as the Kia Super League 50 over games are scheduled. In other words KSL players will not, it seems, be available for the County Championship matches in 2017.

Therefore the teams that finish 7th, 8th and 9th in 2016 will be automatically relegated to Division 2 for the 2017 season. The teams that finish 1st and 2nd in Division 2 will be automatically promoted to Division 1. The full rules are here.

Positions in the league will again be decided on the average number of points a team achieves from completed, but not cancelled or abandoned games (which are ignored). Teams are awarded 10 points for a win and 5 points for a tie. No points are awarded for an abandoned game. An abandoned game cannot be replayed, but a cancelled game can  - however there is no obligation on any team to replay a cancelled game. Up to 4 batting (RR of 4 RPO required) and 4 bowling bonus points (9+ wickets) can be achieved, making a maximum of 18 points per completed game.

This looks like being the last year of the full-strength Women's County Championship due to the introduction of the Kia Super League - designed to bridge the gap between county cricket and international cricket. We will have to wait and see if this is actually what it achieves.

Last year Yorkshire were crowned County Champions, with Kent and Sussex having shot themselves in the foot early in the season by managing to controversially tie their game at Beckenham. It left the door open for Yorkshire, who avoided playing Sussex after their game at Harrogate was rained off, and claimed the title with a comprehensive victory over local rivals Lancashire.

It was a miserable end to a miserable season for Lancs, who lost every game after having been promoted from Division 2 as champions. Joining them back in Division 2 are Notts, who were relegated on the last day of the season, as Warwickshire yet again survived by the skin of their teeth. Warwickshire's squad will be strengthened this year by the acquisition of England's Jenny Gunn from relegated Notts, as will Sussex's by the acquisition of Notts' Dani Wyatt. Champions Yorkshire have recruited EWPS' and Essex's Beth Langston, which means the only EWPS player in Division 2 is Lancashire's Kate Cross. It has to be said that county form, no matter what division it is in, seems to have counted for nothing with regard to selection for England, hence the creation of the KSL.

With three teams being relegated at the end of this season there is going to be a real bun-fight at the bottom of the league. Given Lancashire's difficulties last year you have to say that Staffs, promoted as Div 2 runners-up, are going to struggle. Their squad looks thin. Fellow newcomers Somerset may also find life tough in the top division, They relied heavily last year on Anya Shrubsole and Sophie Luff, plus South African Lizelle Lee. There is no word this year on Lee's return. It seems likely that they will be scrapping away at the bottom of the league rather than at the top. They start off with a home game against a full-strength Kent side. A true baptism of fire!

Warwickshire, Surrey and Middlesex all had indifferent seasons last year, despite some of the top teams they were playing losing several England players for the Ashes series. With few changes in personnel and the England players likely to be around for almost all county games this year, they are unlikely to fair much better in 2016. Surrey look most at risk of relegation. After beating Lancashire on 21st June they didn't win a game in the Championship (they lost five in total, more than Notts, Warwickshire or Middlesex), or Div 1 of the T20 competition (they did not win a game at all) . They start with games against Middlesex and Berkshire in the first weekend. At least one win will be crucial. Two defeats could spell disaster.

At the top it is difficult to look beyond Kent and Sussex, with their clash on 2nd May possibly deciding where the title goes. After Beckenhamgate last year there will be no love lost between the sides. England and Kent skipper Charlotte Edwards will be keen to get one more champions' trip to the Palace before her focus shifts to the KSL in 2017. Sussex, without Holly Colvin again this year, start with a potentially sticky game against Warwickshire away, without the benefit of any warm-up games, followed by Kent the next day. As last year the direction of their season could be shaped in the first weekend (last year they lost to Surrey and then tied with Kent).

So that just leaves Yorkshire and Berkshire. I can't see Yorkshire pulling off another County Championship title win, but I'm sure they would love to prove me wrong. Beth Mooney is a great overseas signing and she might just prove to be the difference, but she will miss their first four games in May. Yorkshire play Warwickshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Staffs during this time - four games they really have to win if they are going to win the Championship.

Just to prove I have no southern bias I cannot see Berkshire winning it either (and they are my old county!). Berkshire, who are not affiliated with a first class county, have been punching above their weight for several seasons. They have a knack of winning three or four games every year and there is no reason to believe they will not do it again this season.


Berkshire (last year 4th)
Squad - no details available

Kent (last year Runners Up)
Squad - Charlotte Edwards (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Megan Belt, Lottie Bryan, Deanna Cooper, Alice Davidson-Richards, Tash Farrant, Phoebe Franklin, Grace Gibbs, Lydia Greenway, Lauren Griffiths, Jenni Jackson, Hannah Jelfs, Laura Marsh, Charlotte Pape, Emily Thompson

Middlesex (last year 5th)
New recruit - Holly Huddleston (13) (NZ)
Squad - Maia Bouchier (16), Cath Dalton (3), Naomi Dattani (11), Sophia Dunkley (14), Alex Hartley (2), Tash Miles (8), Beth Morgan (5), Anna Nicholls (12), Millie Pope (15), Ria Ravel (7), Hannah Wakeman (9), Isabelle Westbury (6), India Whitty (1), Fran Wilson (4), Holly Huddleston (13)

Somerset (last year - 1st in Div 2 - promoted)
Squad - no details available

Staffordshire (last year - 2nd in Div 2 - promoted)
New recruits - Kirsty Lamb (Aus), Alex Macdonald (Yorks)
Squad - Evelyn Jones (capt), Steph Butler, Kathryn Whyle, Charlotte Whyle, Kirsty Lamb, Frankie James, Eleyse Lally, Alex Macdonald, Rachel Powell, Amy Carnwell, Molly Gwynne

Surrey (last year 6th)
Squad - no details available

Sussex (last year 3rd)
New recruit - Danni Wyatt (Notts)
Squad - Sarah Taylor (capt) (30), Georgia Adams (13), Flora Bertwhistle (55), Ellen Burt (8), Sally Clarke (11), Izzy Collis (22), Freya Davies (3), Georgia Elwiss (34), Abbey Freeborn (29), Chiara Green (14), Izi Noakes (12), Tara Norris (24), Hannah Phelps (19), Paige Scholfield (45), Bethany Tagg (6), Tanya Wake (4), Danni Wyatt (28)

Warwickshire (last year 7th)
New recruits - Jenny Gunn (Eng), Anna Lanning (Aus) and Megan Janman (Sussex)
Squad -  Kayleigh Best, Nadia Bacciochi, Louise Brazier, Laura Crofts, Becky Grundy, Jenny Gunn, Georgia Hennessy, Amy Jones, Anisha Patel, Lizzie Russell, Minahil Zahoor, Katie Green, Marie Kelly (capt), Sian Kelly, Georgia Davis, Tiarna Paris Gilkes. Megan Janman, Anna Lanning

Yorkshire (last year Champions)
New recruit - Beth Langston (Essex)
Squad - Lauren Winfield (capt), Cecilia Allen, Hollie Armitage, Katherine Brunt, Beatrice Firth, Elise Good, Teresa Graves, Danielle Hazell, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Hayley Martinus, Charlotte North, Beth Mooney (from June), Rebecca Newark, Laura Spragg, Katie Thompson, Maddie Walsh.


Fixtures (from Play Cricket website)

Sunday, May 1
 WCC Div 1 - Middlesex v Surrey at Eastcote CC
 WCC Div 1 - Somerset v Kent at Taunton CC
 WCC Div 1 - Staffs v Berkshire at Wolverhampton CC
 WCC Div 1 - Warwickshire v Sussex at Edgbaston Foundation Ground
Monday, May 2
 WCC Div 1 - Staffs v Somerset at Meakins CC
 WCC Div 1 - Surrey v Berkshire at Reed's School
 WCC Div 1 - Sussex v Kent at The Saffrons, Eastbourne
 WCC Div 1 - Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Harrogate CC
Sunday, May 15
 WCC Div 1 - Berkshire v Warwickshire at Wokingham CC
 WCC Div 1 - Kent v Middlesex at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence
 WCC Div 1 - Somerset v Sussex at Bath CC
 WCC Div 1 - Yorkshire v Surrey at Harrogate CC
Sunday, May 29
 WCC Div 1 - Berkshire v Yorkshire at Finchampstead CC
 WCC Div 1 - Middlesex v Somerset at Teddington CC
 WCC Div 1 - Surrey v Warwickshire at Reed's School
 WCC Div1 - Kent v Staffs at KCCC Beckenham 
Monday, May 30
 WCC Div 1 - Kent v Surrey at KCCC Beckenham
 WCC Div 1 - Somerset v Berkshire at Midsomer Norton CC
 WCC Div 1 - Staffs v Yorkshire at Meakins CC
 WCC Div 1 - Sussex v Middlesex at Billingshurst CC
Sunday, June 12
 WCC Div 1 - Berkshire v Middlesex at North Maidenhead CC
 WCC Div 1 - Sussex v Surrey at Sheffield Park, Uckfield
 WCC Div 1 - Warwickshire v Staffs at Edgbaston Foundation Ground
 WCC Div 1 - Yorkshire v Kent at Harrogate CC
Sunday, August 28, 2016
 WCC Div 1 - Middlesex v Yorkshire at Merchant Taylors School 
 WCC Div 1 - Surrey v Somerset at Reed's School
 WCC Div 1 - Sussex v Staffs at East Grinstead CC
 WCC Div 1 - Warwickshire v Kent at Edgbaston Foundation Ground
Monday, August 29, 2016
 WCC Div 1 - Berkshire v Sussex at North Maidenhead CC
 WCC Div 1 - Middlesex v Warwickshire at Merchant Taylors School
 WCC Div 1 - Somerset v Yorkshire at Bridgwater CC
 WCC Div 1 - Surrey v Staffs at Reed's School
Sunday, September 4, 2016
 WCC Div 1 - Kent v Berkshire at KCCC Beckenham
 WCC Div 1 - Staffs v Middlesex at Milford Hall CC
 WCC Div 1 - Warwickshire v Somerset at Edgbaston Foundation Ground
 WCC Div 1 - Yorkshire v Sussex at Harrogate CC


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Big changes in County Cricket in 2017

Due to the proposed expansion of the Kia Super League to the 50 over format in 2017 there are some big changes proposed for county cricket in 2017.

1. At the end of 2016 season three teams will be relegated from Division 1, leaving just 8 teams in Division 1 for the 2017 season.

2. Two teams will be promoted from Division 2 to Division 1 at the end of the 2016 season, and two teams will be relegated.

3. The plan is to play the County Championship games in 2017 during the first half of the season, "mirroring the time that the Kia Super League 50 over competition will be taking place", finishing before the 2017 World Cup in England.

4. In 2017 Divisions 3 & 4 will merge into three or four regional leagues.

5. In 2017 the T20 County competition will have 9 teams in each league, which means that one team will be relegated from Division 1 at the end of the 2016 season; two teams will be promoted from Division 2; no team will be relegated to Division 3.

6. The plan is to play the County T20 games in 2017 during the second half of the season, "mirroring the time that the Kia Super League T20 competition will be taking place", starting after the 2017 World Cup in England.

WCB understands that all the counties have just been advised of these changes. We'd like to hear what you think of them? You can leave comments below or email us at


Friday, 22 April 2016

KSL Squads - Strengths & Weaknesses

With the full squads of 15 having now been named it seems like a good time to take a first look at the strengths of each squad. Of course things will change – there are still over 3 months before the KSL actually swings into action, and a lot can happen within that time, including a run of form or a lack of it, injury, and not to mention an England series against Pakistan in June.

But let’s assume the KSL is starting tomorrow, who would be the strongest team?

 Lancashire Thunder

Key Bats
– Deandra Dottin, Emma Lamb, Hayley Matthews, Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt

Key Seamers – Sarah Coyte, Kate Cross, Deandra Dottin

Key Spinners – Sophie Ecclestone, Hayley Matthews, Danni Wyatt

Wicketkeepers – Sarah Taylor & Ellie Threlkeld

Likely starting 11 – Danni Wyatt, Hayley Matthews, Sarah Taylor (wk), Deandra Dottin, Emma Lamb, Laura Newton, Sarah Coyte, Tash Miles, Ellie Threlkeld, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone

Explosive top four who could all make a hundred, or could all be out for a duck. No express pace seamers, but Coyte, Cross and Dottin will bear the brunt of the work. Big test for young spinners Matthews and Sophie Ecclestone, with Wyatt likely to get thrown the ball if they are having a bad day.
No place for Academy keeper Ellie Threlkeld behind the stumps with England’s Sarah Taylor choosing to head north to captain the Thunder.
Watching the Thunder could be a hairy ride.

Full Squad :-
Kate Cross, Sarah Taylor (capt), Danni Wyatt (England)
Sarah Coyte, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews (Overseas)
Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld wk  (Academy)
Natalie Brown (rhb, 25), Georgia Holmes (ram, 19), Laura Marshall (rhb, 22), Tash Miles (rhb, 27), Laura Newton (rhb, 38), Nalisha Patel (rao, 18) (County)

Loughborough Lightning

Key Bats
– Sophie Devine, Georgia Elwiss, Amy Jones, Dane van Niekerk, Ellyse Perry

Key Seamers – Sophie Devine, Georgia Elwiss, Beth Langston, Ellyse Perry, Sonia Odedra

Key Spinners – Rebecca Grundy, Dane van Niekerk

Wicketkeepers – Amy Jones & Lauren Griffiths

Likely starting 11 – Amy Jones, Dane van Niekerk, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, Georgia Elwiss, Eveleyn Jones, Alex Macdonald, Paige Scholfield, Beth Langston, Rebecca Grundy, Sonia Odedra

A young side led by Georgia Elwiss, who will rely heavily on the experience of their overseas trio – Perry, Devine and van Niekerk – both with bat and ball. Time for Amy Jones, Langston and Elwiss to stake a claim for places in the England teams to tour West Indies and Sri Lanka before the end of 2016. Becky Grundy needs to prove her credentials as England’s left-arm spinner.

Full Squad:-
Georgia Elwiss (capt), Rebecca Grundy, Amy Jones wk, Beth Langston (England)
Sophie Devine, Dane van Niekerk, Ellyse Perry (Overseas)
Evelyn Jones, Alex Macdonald (Academy)
Georgie Boyce (rhb, 17), Thea Brookes (rao/rhb, 23) , Amy Gauvrit (ram, 21), Lauren Griffiths (wk, 29) , Sonia Odedra (ram, 27), Paige Scholfield ( ram/rhb, 20) (County)

Southern Vipers

Key Bats – Suzie Bates, Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Sarah McGlashan

Key Seamers – Suzie Bates, Arran Brindle, Tash Farrant, Megan Schutt

Key Spinners – Alice Macleod, Fi Morris

Wicketkeepers – Carla Rudd, Sarah McGlashan

Likely starting 11 – Bates, Edwards, McGlashan, Greenway, Adams, Brindle, Macleod, Schutt, Morris, Rudd, Farrant

It may seem an odd thing to say with England and New Zealand skippers Edwards and Bates at the top of the order, but the Southern Vipers look a bit light in the batting department. They also only have two genuine spinners in Macleod and Morris. The pressure will be on the top order to put runs on the board.

Full Squad :-
Charlotte Edwards (capt), Tash Farrant, Lydia Greenway (England)
Suzie Bates, Sara McGlashan, Megan Schutt (Overseas)
Georgia Adams, Ellen Burt, Katie George (Academy)
Arran Brindle (rhb/ram, 34), Izzy Collis (rhb, 19), Daisy Gardner (ram, 25), Alice Macleod (rhb/rao, 21), Fi Morris (rao, 22), Carla Rudd (wkt, 22) (County)

Surrey Stars

Key Bats – Tammy Beaumont, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning, Nat Sciver

Key Seamers – Rene Farrell, Marizanne Kapp, Nat Sciver

Key Spinners – Sophia Dunkley, Alex Hartley, Laura Marsh

Wicketkeepers – Tammy Beaumont, Kirsty White

Likely starting 11 – Beaumont, Kapp, Lanning, Sciver, Smith, Dunkley, Griffith, Morgan, Marsh, Farrell, Hartley

Any team that has Meg Lanning in their batting line-up is going to be strong, but the Stars cannot rely on her to score all their runs. Big series for skipper Nat Sciver and opener Tammy Beaumont. Can they put in match winning performances with the bat? Sciver’s re-modelled bowling action will also be tested, but spin in the shape of Hartley, Marsh and Dunkley could be the Star’s bowling strength.

Full Squad :-
Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver (capt) (England)
Rene Farrell, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning (Overseas)
Sophia Dunkley, Alex Hartley, Bryony Smith (Academy)
Aylish Cranstone (lhb, 21), Grace Gibbs (ram, 20), Cordelia Griffith (rhb, 20), Raveena Lakhtaria (rao, 23), Beth Morgan (rhb, 27), Kirsty White (wkt, 28) (County)

Western Storm

Key Bats – Heather Knight, Lizelle Lee, Rachel Priest, Stafanie Taylor

Key Seamers – Freya Davies, Georgia Hennessy, Anya Shrubsole

Key Spinners – Jodie Dibble, Heather Knight, Stafanie Taylor

Wicketkeepers – Rachel Priest, Amara Carr

Likely starting 11 – Priest, Knight, Taylor, Lee, Wilson, Luff, Hennessy, Fairbairn, Shrubsole, Davies, Dibble

Perhaps the most balanced squad, even if they have fewer England/EWA players than any other team. Knight had a good winter leading the unfancied Hobart Hurricanes and she will hope she can do the same for her West Country franchise. Batting looks strong and they have a good mix of seam and spin bowlers to call on.

Full Squad :-
Heather Knight (capt), Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson (England)
Lizelle Lee, Rachel Priest, Stafanie Taylor (Overseas)
Freya Davies, Sophie Luff (Academy)
Rosalie Fairbairn (rhb, 32), Amara Carr (wkt, 22), Jodie Dibble (lao, 21), Georgia Hennessy (ram/rhb, 19), Sophie MacKenzie (ram, 17), Caitlin O'Keefe (ram, 19), Izzy Westbury (rao, 26) (County)

Yorkshire Diamonds

Key Bats – Alex Blackwell, Beth Mooney, Lauren Winfield

Key Seamers – Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Shabnim Ismail

Key Spinners – Steph Butler, Dani Hazell, Katie Levick

Wicketkeepers – Beth Mooney, Lauren Winfield

Likely starting 11 – Winfield, Mooney, Blackwell, Armitage, Brunt, Gunn, Ismail, Butler, Hazell, Levick, Davidson-Richards

Beth Mooney had a great WBBL with the bat and could be the Diamonds’ key player. Lauren Winfield’s WBBL was not quite so good and she has a lot to prove in this competition. Alex Blackwell is a shrewd signing. She is a great game manager and calming influence. With the ball Brunt will be joined by the firey Shabnim Ismail. It could get explosive. Leg-spinner Katie Levick does well at county level, but how will she handle the step up?

Full Squad :-
Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Dani Hazell, Lauren Winfield (capt) (England)
Alex Blackwell, Beth Mooney, Shabnim Ismail (Overseas)
Hollie Armitage, Steph Butler (Academy)
Alice Davidson-Richards (ram, 21), Teresa Graves (rhb, 17), Katie Levick (ralb, 24), Anna Nicholls (rhb, 18), Laura Spragg (lam, 33), Katie Thompson (ram, 19) (County)


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Final Kia Super League Line-ups

The final players have been named for the six Kia Super League squads. All the details are below. We will review each team over the next few hours and update this page with our thoughts.

Lancashire Thunder

Kate Cross, Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt (England)
Sarah Coyte, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews (Overseas)
Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld (Academy)
Natalie Brown, Georgia Holmes, Laura Marshall. Tash Miles, Laura Newton, Nalisha Patel (County)

Loughborough Lightning
Georgia Elwiss, Rebecca Grundy, Amy Jones, Beth Langston (England)
Sophie Devine, Dane van Niekerk, Ellyse Perry (Overseas)
Evelyn Jones, Alex Macdonald (Academy)
Georgie Boyce, Thea Brookes, Amy Gauvrit, Lauren Griffiths, Sonia Odedra, Paige Scholfield (County)

Southern Vipers
Charlotte Edwards, Tash Farrant, Lydia Greenway (England)
Suzie Bates, Sara McGlashan, Megan Schutt (Overseas)
Georgia Adams, Ellen Burt, Katie George (Academy)
Arran Brindle, Izzy Collis, Daisy Gardner, Alice Macleod, Fi Morris, Carla Rudd (County)

Surrey Stars
Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver (England)
Rene Farrell, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning (Overseas)
Sophia Dunkley, Alex Hartley, Bryony Smith (Academy)
Aylish Cranstone, Grace Gibbs, Cordelia Griffith, Ravena Lakhtaria, Beth Morgan, Kirsty White (County)

Western Storm
Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson (England)
Lizelle Lee, Rachel Priest, Stafanie Taylor (Overseas)
Freya Davies, Sophie Luff (Academy)
Rosalie Birch, Amara Carr, Jodie Dibble, Georgia Hennessy, Sophie MacKenzie, Caitlin O'Keefe, Izzy Westbury (County)

Yorkshire Diamonds
Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Dani Hazell, Lauren Winfield (England)
Alex Blackwell, Shabnim Ismail, Beth Mooney (Overseas)
Steph Butler, Hollie Armitage (Academy)
Alice Davidson-Richards, Teresa Graves, Katie Levick, Anna Nicholls, Laura Spragg, Katie Thompson (County)


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Kia Super League Teams taking shape

With the announcement today of the three international players who have signed for each of the six Kia Super League teams, the shape and strength of the teams is beginning to emerge. This follows on from the announcement last week of the England players allocated to each team.

Big names are Ellyse Perry to Loughborough Lightning, as suspected; Meg Lanning to Surrey Stars; Suzie Bates to Southern Vipers; and WWT20 winning captain Stafanie Taylor to the Western Storm.

The final piece in the jigsaw is due next week when the two or three Academy players per team will be announced, together with the additional players that each franchise has selected to boost their roster to the full 15. We will wait to comment on the strengths of each squad until the full 15 players have been named, but in the meantime here is how the teams are currently shaping up :-

Lancashire Thunder

Kate Cross, Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt
Sarah Coyte, Deandra Dottin, third tba

Loughborough Lightning
Georgia Elwiss, Rebecca Grundy, Amy Jones, Beth Langston
Sophie Devine, Dane van Niekerk, Ellyse Perry

Southern Vipers
Charlotte Edwards, Tash Farrant, Lydia Greenway
Suzie Bates, Sara McGlashan, Megan Schutt

Surrey Stars
Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh, Nat Sciver
Rene Farrell, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning

Western Storm
Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson
Lizelle Lee, Rachel Priest, Stafanie Taylor

Yorkshire Diamonds
Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Dani Hazell, Lauren Winfield
Alex Blackwell, Shabnim Ismail, Beth Mooney


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

England Academy in Sri Lanka - images

Just a few images from the England Academy Tour to Sri Lanka March/April 2016
Played 8 Won 6 Lost 2



Sunday, 10 April 2016

England tour to Sri Lanka ends with agonising loss

Two very tired sides battled out two T20s at the Premadasa Stadium to conclude the England Academy and Aussie Shooting Stars tours to Sri Lanka.

In the first game England won easily bowling out the Shooting Stars for just 75 in 17.4 overs. Only Patterson (26), Graham (13) and Molineaux (11) made it into double figures as Sophie Ecclestone claimed 3/11 off her four overs and Sophia Dunkley 3/16 off 3.4 overs. In reply England lost only openers Hollie Armitage (11) and Georgia Adams (20) as Sophia Dunkley (20*) and Fran Wilson (7*) knocked off the runs in just 12.2 overs.

But the second game was a much closer affair with the Aussies this time batting a little better, and England fielding worse, which allowed them to accumulate 111/6 at the end of their 20 overs. Alex Hartley bowled smartly to claim 3/15 off her allotted overs and Sophie Ecclestone (1/18) and Freya Davies (1/25) were the only other wicket-takers. Tahlia McGrath (32*) top scored for the Shooting Stars.

England made a horrible start in reply losing Adams bowled for a duck in the first over and Hollie Armitage caught for 1 in the third over, at which stage they were 6/2. But Emma Lamb looked in imperious form - the only bat to do so during the entire day. She lost Evelyn Jones lbw (8) at 32/3, but had taken England to relative comfort at 70/3 in the tenth over before she pulled a short ball to midwicket for 45. In the next over Sophie Luff (8) also went caught at mid-on, but England still only needed 39 from 9.3 overs, with five wickets in hand. Fran Wilson (12) and Alex Macdonald (7) had got the equation down to 21 off the last five before Macdonald was stumped and then Wilson caught on the boundary at cow corner. England needed 18 off the last three overs and a sumptuous 4 over extra cover from Beth Langston (7) eased the England nerves. Next ball she connected well with a sweep off a full toss. The ball was destined for the boundary but Sophie Molineaux stuck out a right paw at square leg and took a screaming catch. It was probably the key moment.

England were eight down and still needed 10 to win with 13 balls left. Ellie Threlkeld (6) and Steph Butler (4*) got that down to five to win from the last over. They scrambled one from the first ball as both batsmen came, went, waited and finally ran and bowler Alex Price could not get back to the stumps in time to run Butler out. Next ball Threlkeld was well caught behind by Banting as she tried to dab down to third man. The third ball was a dot ball and England managed two on a misfield at midwicket. Number 11 Sophie Ecclestone (2) was on strike for the last two balls with England just one run behind. The fifth ball was a dot and with the final ball Ecclestone was stumped to give Australia the game by one run.

Threlkeld goes with four balls to come
It was a disappointing end for the England girls who had won five out of six ODIs before today's T20 games. For the Aussies it was a reward for some gritty efforts by a squad of just 13 over a very long and hot three weeks in Sri Lanka.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Aussies hold nerve to win final ODI

In a sweltering hot and airless (not to mention crowdless) Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, the England Academy team were pipped at the post by their Aussie counterparts, chasing down England's below par 232 all out, with two wickets and more just nine balls to spare.

Things had looked good for England after Emma Lamb (44) and Evelyn Jones (42) had taken their stand to 82 in the 16th over before Lamb went caught off a leading edge at extra cover. Five overs later Jones followed caught at mid-off off the legspin of Wellington. Next ball Georgia Adams (16) was caught pulling a short ball straight to midwicket. England had stumbled to 112/3. Fran Wilson (62) and Sophie Luff (21) rebuilt nicely and at 25 overs a score of around 275 looked a distinct possibility on a great batting track. But Luff gloved a dab to the keeper at 161, Dunkley (2) drove one straight back to the bowler at 167 and Threlkeld (10) was bowled at 192. But still Wilson was there. She passed 50 for the third time on this tour, but then rather gave her wicket away with five overs to go smashing McGrath to Hancock on the deep midwicket boundary. Unfortunately the tail could not wag, or indeed use up all the allotted overs, as Steph Butler (5) and Alex Hartley (0) left Freya Davies (4*) without any partners and with 12 balls unused.

In reply Australia made a lugubrious start through Patterson and Molineaux. Patterson was caught behind off Cross in the 9th over for 15 with the Aussie reply hardly underway on 23/1. When Hartley picked up a wicket in her 4th over and Ecclestone one in her 2nd, things were looking very rosey for England with the Aussies on 52/3 in the 18th over. But the Aussie middle order of Graham (38), Banting (44) and Stalenberg (42) started to move the Aussie score along from the 23rd over with all the bowlers coming in for a bit of stick. With 11 overs left the Shooting Stars needed 57 with five wickets in hand, but Gardner (21) and Stalenberg both lifted 6s just over Kate Cross at cow corner off the unfortunate Ecclestone and the target was down to just 44 in ten overs. The returning Cross and Langston tried to pull it out of the bag for England, and a couple of late wickets put some pressure on the Aussies, but Price (20*) and Hancock (5*) kept their heads and knocked the singles to ease past England's score in the 49th over.

It was the best game of the tour to date, and the girls will have probably got more out of a close game than they have out of some of the easy victories. The tour ends on Sunday when England are due to take on the Aussies again in two T20s. However the Aussies, with a squad of only 13, struggled to field 11 players today. Hopefully they can do so on Sunday.

England batting - Lamb 44, Jones 42, Adams 16, Wilson 62, Luff 21, Dunkley 2, Threlkeld 10, Langston 6, Butler 5, Davies 4*, Hartley 0.

England bowling - Cross 9.3-0-41-2, Langston 10-2-36-2, Davies 4-0-31-0, Hartley 7-2-19-1, Ecclestone 10-0-53-2, Butler 4-0-26-0, Dunkley 4-0-24-1


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Academy continue winning ways

England Academy made it three wins out of three over Sri Lanka A in ODIs, and five out of five overall, with just an ODI against the Aussie Shooting Stars tomorrow and then two T20s against the same opposition on Sunday. They will be expecting to keep up their 100% record.

In truth Sri Lanka have been no match for England, as you might expect, and today confirmed the respective strengths of the two sides. Put into bat Sri Lanka struggled to make 133 all out in 38 of their 40 overs (the game having started late after heavy overnight rain and the pitch being left uncovered).

Seamers Langston, Cross and Davies all took an early wicket apiece to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 44/3. The introduction of spin in the shape of left-armer Alex Hartley and off-spinner Steph Butler (3/26) produced more regular wickets, including two suicidal run outs. At 91/8 Sri Lanka were in danger of failing to make three figures. But the ninth wicket added 21, and the tenth the same, to take Sri Lanka to 133 all out.

In reply opening pair Emma Lamb (19) and Evelyn Jones (1) again got the opening duties, but Jones soon went slashing a ball to slip. Georgia Adams (9) followed in similar fashion in the next over to leave England on 13/2. Lamb and Fran Wilson (44) seemed to have things under control until Lamb missed a sweep shot and was lbw. This brought Wilson's former Somerset team-mate Sophie Luff to the crease. They had taken the score to beyond half of what was required when Luff was run out calling Wilson through for an optimistic single and failing to get back at the non-striker's end when Wilson declined the run.

But it seemed as though Wilson and Sophia Dunkley (18*) would bring home the win as they accumulated runs without too much bother, with the aid of some sloppy fielding from the tiring Sri Lankans, but Wilson then drove hard and aerial, but straight to mid-off. Kate Cross (18) helped Dunkley level the scores but then skied a ball to midwicket. Dunkley finished the job next ball with a trademark searing drive through wide mid-off. Job very much done.

It was a solid victory, which is never to be sneezed at, but in terms of developing future England players it probably had fairly limited impact. England will hope to be pushed a little harder by the Aussies tomorrow in their last 50 over fixture of the tour.

England bowling (unofficial) - Langston 7-2-21-1, Cross 7-2-12-2, Macdonald 4-2-19-0, Davies 6-2-15-1, Hartley 7-0-32-1, Butler 7-2-26-3.

England batting (unofficial) - Jones 1, Lamb 19, Adams 9, Wilson 44, Luff 13, Dunkley 18*, Cross 18, Macdonald 0*, Butler, Hartley * Langston did not bat.


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Academy make it four in a row

England Academy cruised to their fourth victory in four, but then so they should against a Sri Lanka A side that has buckets of enthusiasm, but is lacking in raw talent.

England posted another decent total of 273 all out based around solid contributions from opener Emma Lamb (85) and keeper Ellie Threlkeld (58). Sophia Dunkley also hit a lusty 38. After a slow start Lamb found her touch and after reaching her fifty let loose on the Sri Lankan bowlers. In the over she was out bowled she had already taken 14 runs, but advancing down the wicket she played over the ball and departed bowled.

Dunkley creamed her first two balls for fours through the covers and continued to look to punish almost every ball she faced. She found a willing partner in Threlkeld who was happy to play both straight man and straight in the V, pushing the singles to allow her team mate to wreak more havoc. Dunkley finally played one shot too many and was stumped, but Threkeld continued bringing up her fifty in the 48th over. She celebrated in the next over by launching an imperious 6 over wide long-on, but was out in the same over caught behind.

273 was always going to be too many for the Sri Lankans although they started brightly. But they lost wickets at regular intervals - 26, 52, 68, 80, 94, 100, 113 and 113 - four of them to Sophie Ecclestone who bowled her 10 overs straight through for figures of 4/32, starting at the tenth over. At 113/8 the game looked to be coming to an early conclusion but Sri Lankan number 9 Malsha had other ideas. She swung lustily to leg in the fashion of someone scything down barley, or flat-batted the ball over extra cover. It proved effective as she scored 47 quick runs as the ninth wicket pair added 66 in 11 overs. The partnership was finally broken by the returning Beth Langston, and  Kate Cross polished off the final wicket, leaving the Sri Lankans 186 all out, still 87 runs adrift.

England batting (unofficial) - Lamb 85, Jones 15, Adams 18, Wilson 1, Dunkley 38, Armitage 0, Threlkeld 58, Cross 16, Butler 18, Ecclestone 1, Davies 2*

Engalnd bowling (unofficial) - Langston 6-0-25-2, Davies 4-0-21-0, Cross 3.5 -0-15-1, Ecclestone 10-2-32-4, Hartley 7-0-28-2, Armitage 4-0-14-0, Butler 2-0-29-0, Dunkley 3-0-16-0


Friday, 1 April 2016

England Academy make it three out of three

England Academy handed out another serious drubbing of their Aussie counterparts when they bowled them out for just 135 inside 35 overs, chasing England's 200 all out, on a turning pitch at the P. Sara Stadium in Colombo.

Batting first England made a poor start with Sophia Dunkley caught at slip off the away swinging Brennan for a duck and Emma Lamb (9) caught behind off the same bowler in her next over. England were 11/2.

But Fran Wilson (69) and Georgia Adams (49) seemed to have set England up for a decent score with a 113 run third wicket partnership. Wilson cut, drove and swept with great timing and Adams bludgeoned the bad ball to the boundary. Adams succumbed to the returning Brennan, caught behind, in the 23rd over, but England must have been thinking of in excess of 260 at this point. But when Wilson mistimed a pull off Brennan and was caught England's innings started to unravel. Hollie Armitage skied Price to extra cover for 0, before Sophie Luff (15) and Kate Cross added 29 for the fifth wicket. It was the last meaningful partnership for England, and it could have been worse if Cross had not been dropped on the boundary on 14. Luff clothed a full-toss to mid-off and Langston (5) was lbw, both to off-spinner Price. Next over Steph Butler (0) skied Wellington to square leg. Within four more overs the last two wickets had fallen, as Cross (34) was caught and bowled and Threkeld was lbw. England had managed to put an under-par 200 on the board.

After their disastrous start in the last game the Aussies took a more measured approach this time. Patterson (43) batted nicely again putting away the bad ball, while Molineaux (11) was resolute in defence. They took the score to 64 in the 15th over before Hartley and Butler (4/35) got to work on a pitch that was producing some decent turn and bounce. Hartley removed Patterson lbw sweeping and then Butler enticed Molineaux to drive to Cross at mid-off. Stalenburg then repeated the error and McGrath was well caught sweeping at Butler and gloving it to keeper Threlkeld. From a position of some strength the Aussies were now 66/4.

The Butler/Cross partnership then accounted for Gardner and slow left-armer Sophie Ecclestone weighed in with the sixth wicket as Price swung her to Davies on the deep midwicket boundary. 83/6 and the Aussie innings was in tatters. Skipper Banting briefly held up the onslaught, but when she was bowled by leggie Sophia Dunkley's third ball, and Smith was caught behind off Ecclestone the end appeared to be in sight. But Hancock and Wellington  held England at bay until Freya Davies applied the coup de grace picking up the ninth and tenth wickets in successive overs to catches at mid-off by Ecclestone. Australia were all out for 135 and England had won by 65 runs.

England will be keen to keep their 100% record going when they play Sri Lanka A tomorrow at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

England batting (unofficial) - Dunkley 0, Lamb 9, Adams 49, Wilson 69, Luff 15, Armitage 0, Cross 35, Langston 5, Butler 0, Ecclestone 0*, Threlkeld 0

England bowling (unofficial) - Langston 5-0-16-0, Cross 4-0-17-0, Davies 3.5-0-20-2, Hartley 5-2-18-1, Butler 6-2-35-4, Ecclestone 6-1-20-2, Dunkley 4-0-14-1

Australia batting (unofficial) - Patterson 43, Molineaux 13, McGrath 1, Stalenberg 1, Banting 18, Gardner 4, Price 0, Smith 1, Hancock 11, Wellington 15*, Vakarewa 1.

Australia bowling (unofficial) - Brennan 8-2-22-4, Hancock 4-0-22-0, Wellington 10-2-37-1, McGrath 3-0-20-0, Smith 6-0-28-0, Vakarewa 4-0-22-0, Price 8-1-30-3, Molineaux 1.5-0-7-2