Women's Cricket Super League

Last updated
Women's Cricket Super League
Women's Cricket Super League logo.png
Countries Flag of England.svg England and Wales [nb 1]
Administrator ECB
Format Twenty20
First edition 2016
Latest edition 2019
Tournament format Round-robin and knockout stage
Number of teams6
Current trophy holder Western Storm (2019)
Most successful Western Storm (2 titles)
TV Sky Sports
Website Kia Super League

The Women's Cricket Super League (WCSL), known as the Kia Super League (KSL) for sponsorship reasons, was a semi-professional women's Twenty20 cricket competition in England and Wales [nb 1] operated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The competition featured six franchise teams, partnered with a variety of county teams and boards and universities, and was envisaged as a means to bridge the gap between amateur domestic cricket and the increasingly professional international game.

Contents

The WCSL launched in 2016, with each team playing five group stage matches in a round-robin format, followed by a finals day; this was increased to ten group matches in 2018, following the ECB abandoning their initial plans to expand the tournament by also incorporating a 50-over competition.

The WCSL ended after the 2019 season, ahead of the intended launch of the ECB's new format, The Hundred, and its city-based men's and women's franchises. Western Storm ended the competition as the most successful team with two titles, in 2017 and 2019. Southern Vipers and Surrey Stars won one title each, in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

History

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their plans for the Women's Cricket Super League in June 2015, stating they would invest £3 million over four years. The competition would launch with six teams playing in a Twenty20 format, with the initial intention to add a 50-over competition in 2017. [1] The ECB received 28 applications to host teams in the first stage of bidding, [2] with the process subsequently moving to an interview stage. [3] The six successful bids were announced in January 2016. [4] The ECB hoped that the WCSL would develop as a semi-professional competition, with the intention of bridging the gap between the amateur Women's County Championship and international cricket, for which England players are centrally contracted as professionals. [5]

It was decided in advance of the 2017 season that the planned 50-over competition would not after all take place, with the ECB and the franchises preferring to concentrate their resources on developing the existing Twenty20 format. [6] For the 2018 season, the group stage of the competition was doubled in size, with each of the teams now facing each other home and away for a total of ten group matches. [7]

In 2018, the ECB announced the planned launch of The Hundred in 2020, a new hundred-ball format competition to be played by newly-created city-based franchises with both men's and women's teams. [8] In conjunction with this, it was also announced that the WCSL would be scrapped after the 2019 season, with the implication that the existing franchises would be wound up and there would be no more top-level women's Twenty20 competition in England. [9]

Teams

The ECB announced the six hosts for the WCSL in January 2016, with hosting rights awarded for four years of the competition, 2016 to 2019 inclusive. The hosts and partners included seven First-class counties, five minor counties and three universities. [10] Team names, along with the fixtures and venues for the 2016 season, were announced in February 2016. [11] [12] The allocation of England players to the teams was announced in April 2016, [13] with overseas player allocations being announced later that month. [14]

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards led the Southern Vipers to the inaugural WCSL title in 2016 Charlotte Edwards.jpg
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards led the Southern Vipers to the inaugural WCSL title in 2016
TeamHosts and partnersHome groundsCaptain
Lancashire Thunder Kathryn Cross
Loughborough Lightning Georgia Elwiss
Southern Vipers Tammy Beaumont
Surrey Stars Surrey County Cricket Club Natalie Sciver
Western Storm Heather Knight
Yorkshire Diamonds Yorkshire County Cricket Club Lauren Winfield

Tournament results

List of Women's Cricket Super League champions
YearWinnerRunners-upVenuePlayer (club)RunsPlayer (club)WicketsNotes
Leading run-scorerLeading wicket-taker
2016 Southern Vipers Western Storm County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford Stafanie Taylor (Western Storm)289 Stafanie Taylor (Western Storm)11 [15] [16]
2017 Western Storm Southern Vipers County Cricket Ground, Hove Rachel Priest (Western Storm)261 Nat Sciver (Surrey Stars)12 [17] [18]
2018 Surrey Stars Loughborough Lightning County Cricket Ground, Hove Smriti Mandhana (Western Storm)421 Kirstie Gordon (Loughborough Lightning)17 [19] [20]
2019 Western Storm Southern Vipers County Cricket Ground, Hove Danielle Wyatt (Southern Vipers)466 Freya Davies (Western Storm)19 [21] [22]

Format

The County Ground in Chelmsford staged the 2016 WCSL finals day Essex CCC vs Gloucestershire CCC 2008.jpg
The County Ground in Chelmsford staged the 2016 WCSL finals day

Matches were played in a Twenty20 format. Teams played each other in a round robin, from which the top three teams qualified for Finals Day at a neutral venue. In 2016 and 2017 teams played each other once, and in 2018 and 2019 teams played each other twice. [7] The second and third placed teams then met in the semi-final for the right to face the first placed team in the final. Finals Day was staged at the County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford in 2016 and at the County Cricket Ground, Hove from 2017 to 2019. [12] [23] [24]

Media coverage

The 2016 tournament was not televised, but seven group matches and the finals day were broadcast live on BBC radio's Test Match Special . [25] [26] In 2017, Sky Sports broadcast eight matches live – six group stage matches as part of double-headers with a men's T20 Blast match, followed by both finals day matches. [27] They broadcast twelve live matches from the expanded 2018 competition. [28]

Sponsorship

The ECB announced a two-year title sponsorship agreement for the WCSL with Kia Motors in March 2016, as a result of which the competition was known as the Kia Super League. [29] The deal was extended to cover the final two years of the competition in 2017. [30]

Notes

  1. 1 2 Officially, the competition covered England and Wales, as the England and Wales Cricket Board governs the sport in both countries; however, all teams were based in England.

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Surrey Stars

The Surrey Stars were an English women's Twenty20 cricket team based in South London that competed in the English women's Twenty20 competition, the Women's Cricket Super League. The Stars played their home matches at The Oval and Woodbridge Road, Guildford.They were captained by Nat Sciver and coached by Richard Bedbrook, working with Surrey’s Director of Women’s Cricket Ebony Rainford-Brent. The Stars won the 2018 Women's Cricket Super League, beating Loughborough Lightning in the final at the County Cricket Ground, Hove. In 2020, following reforms to the structure of women's domestic cricket, some elements of the Surrey Stars were retained for a new team, the South East Stars.

Lancashire Thunder

Lancashire Thunder were an English women's Twenty20 cricket team based in Manchester, Lancashire that competed in England’s women's Twenty20 competition, the Women's Cricket Super League. Thunder played their home matches at Old Trafford and various grounds across the North West. They were captained by Kathryn Cross and coached by Mark McInnes, working with General Manager Bobby Cross. In 2020, following reforms to the structure of women's domestic cricket, some elements of Lancashire Thunder were retained for a new team, North West Thunder.

Loughborough Lightning (womens cricket) English womens cricket team

Loughborough Lightning were an English women's Twenty20 cricket team based at Loughborough University. They were formed in 2016 to compete in the inaugural season of the Women's Cricket Super League. They primarily played their home matches at the Haslegrave Ground. They were coached by Rob Taylor and were captained by Georgia Elwiss. The team was partnered with Loughborough University. Together with the netball team and the women's rugby union team, the cricket team was one of three women's sports teams based at Loughborough University that used the Loughborough Lightning name. In 2020, following reforms to the structure of women's domestic cricket, some elements of the Loughborough Lightning were retained for a new team, named just Lightning and representing a broader region.

Western Storm

Western Storm are a women's cricket team representing South West England and Wales, one of eight regional hubs in English domestic cricket. They play their home matches at the County Ground, Taunton and Nevil Road, Bristol. They are captained by Sophie Luff and coached by Mark O'Leary. The team is partnered with Somerset, Gloucestershire, Glamorgan, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Cricket Wales. Originally formed to compete in the Women's Cricket Super League in 2016, Western Storm won the competition twice, in 2017 and 2019. When women's cricket in England was reformed in 2020, the Western Storm brand was retained, and they competed in the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Yorkshire Diamonds

Yorkshire Diamonds were an English women's Twenty20 cricket team based in Leeds, Yorkshire. They were formed in 2016 to compete in the inaugural season of the Women's Cricket Super League. They played their home matches at grounds across Yorkshire, including Headingley Cricket Ground and Clifton Park, York, and were partnered with Yorkshire County Cricket Club. They were coached by Danielle Hazell and captained by Lauren Winfield. In 2020, following reforms to the structure of women's domestic cricket, some elements of the Yorkshire Diamonds were retained for a new team, the Northern Diamonds.

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The 2017 Women's Cricket Super League, or 2017 Kia Super League for sponsorship reasons, was the second season of the Women's Cricket Super League (WCSL), the semi-professional women's cricket competition in England and Wales. The competition, run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), consists of six franchise teams playing in a Twenty20 format. The Southern Vipers were the defending champions, but lost in the final to Western Storm.

The Hundred is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament in England and Wales run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Originally scheduled to start in the summer of 2020, it has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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References

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