England recently announced a one-off 50-over domestic tournament due to start tomorrow. The Women’s tournament is named after former England captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Baroness Heyhoe-Flint, who died in 2017. The tournament will comprise of 8 teams, pooled into two groups, competing in a series of one-day matches to be played between 29th August to 19th September. The top team from each group will advance to the finals to be played on 26th September to determine the overall winner of the tournament. The one-off tournament is expected to provide much-needed match practice to England domestic players after the suspension of cricket for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two groups are named ‘North Group’ and ‘South Group’ and include the following teams:
- North Group: Central Sparks, Lightning, Northern Diamonds and Thunder
- South Group: South East Stars, Southern Vipers, Sunrisers and Western Storm
The Northern Diamonds, represented by Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland, have announced their list of 15 players who would get a chance to play for the side in this tournament.
Following players will represent Northern Diamonds in the competition:
Hollie Armitage (Yorkshire)
Aged 23 years, Hollie Armitage played for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the 2016- and 2017-Women’s Cricket Super League seasons. In November 2019, she was recruited to play for the Australian Women’s Big Bash League team Sydney Sixers to replace Ellyse Perry. After her stint for the Sydney Sixers, she played for Tasmania in the domestic one-day tournament. During her time in Australia, she had got starts but could not convert them into a big score. She has another chance to show her capabilities as a batter through this tournament.
Ami Campbell (Durham)
Ami Campbell has played for the Durham side in the domestic one-day setup. She is quite capable with the bat and has been consistently among runs. In her last 10 matches, she has scored 217 runs, having 2 scores in the forties and 2 in the thirties. She gets another opportunity to establish herself as a batter for the region through this tournament.
Helen Fenby (Durham)
Helen Fenby played for Durham in the last year’s domestic one-day competition. She had got a few starts but went on to cross 40 only on one occasion, scoring an unbeaten 43 against Middlesex. She got enlisted to represent Yorkshire Diamonds in the Kia Super League season of 2019. She has also shown her capabilities as a bowler, taking 4 wickets for 20 runs in the first game that she played, against Surrey Stars. She will hope to make more significant contributions in this tournament.
Phoebe Graham (Berkshire)
Aged 28 years, Phoebe Graham has been taking wickets regularly for Berkshire side in the domestic one-day circuit. Playing as a right-handed seamer, she picked up 12 wickets from 7 games in the 2019 season, picking up three-for on as many as 3 occasions. Northern Diamonds will look to her to continue her form and contribute to her team’s success.
Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire)
Jenny Gunn is a veteran who has represented the national side since 2004. Aged 34, she was a member of the winning team at the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup at home. In 2018, during the T20I series in India, Jenny Gunn became the first-ever cricketer – male or female – to play 100 T20Is. She announced her retirement from international cricket in late-2019 playing 144 ODIs and 104 T20Is. She scored 1629 runs in ODIs scoring 5 half-centuries and picked up 136 wickets including a five-wicket haul. In T20Is, she scored 682 runs and picked up 75 wickets with the best figures of 5 wickets for 18 runs. Her experience with the national side will help her in this tournament as she leads and mentors a group of young girls who will be playing with her.
Rachel Hopkins (Durham)
Rachel Hopkins has represented Durham in the domestic one-day setup playing as a batter. She is a capable batter having got starts but not converting them into big scores quite often. Her most notable innings has been her half-century in Berkshire last year. Her performance helped her get a call-up for the Northern Diamonds side and she will look forward to making the most out of it.
Sterre Kalis (Netherlands)
Sterre Kalis is the other international cricketer in the side along with Jenny Gunn. At just around 21 years of age, she has been a great performer for the Netherlands with the bat, scoring 556 runs in 17 T20Is at an average of 37. She made her international debut in 2018 in the 2018 Women’s World T20 Qualifier and was the top-scorer for the Netherlands side in the tournament. She was also the leading run-scorer in the 2019 ICC Women’s Qualifier Europe, with 158 runs in 4 games, and made her first century against Germany, her unbeaten 126 equaling the highest individual score in Women’s T20Is at that time. In the 2019 Women’s World T20 Qualifier, she was again the leading run-scorer for the Netherlands. She also featured among the ICC Global Development Squad. Her experience in the national side will certainly lend a boost to herself and her team in this tournament.
Bethany Langston (Yorkshire)
Bethany Langston plays for Yorkshire as a seamer and has represented the Yorkshire Diamonds in the last season of the Kia Super League. Aged around 28 years, she has also represented the England side playing 4 ODIs and 2 T20Is respectively, last playing international cricket in 2016. She will again look to break through the ranks and give herself a chance to play in the national side with a strong performance in this competition.
Katie Levick (Yorkshire)
Katie Levick is another exciting bowler to watch out for in this competition. Aged 28 years, this spinner has claimed as many as 190 wickets for Yorkshire in her career and has picked up 29 wickets across 4 seasons of the Kia Super League, making her the leading non-international wicket-taker in the competition. She was awarded The Guardian Women’s Cricketer of the Year for her efforts in 2019 and much will be expected out of her in this tournament.
Alex Macdonald (Yorkshire)
Aged 28 years, Alex Macdonald is a talented left-handed batter from Yorkshire. Although she has got limited success, she has shown her capabilities in some of the innings she has played which includes the 41 she has scored against Hampshire last year and another 81 she had scored way back in 2017 against Essex when she was playing for Gloucestershire. She will hope for more such performances in this tournament to cement her place in the region.
Ella Telford (Cumbria)
Ella Telford started out with Cumbria in the domestic limited-overs setup before moving to Yorkshire and finally playing for Yorkshire last season. She will look forward to settling herself on this side with a strong performance in this competition.
Leah Dobson (Yorkshire)
Leah Dobson is a talented batter who made her debut for Yorkshire in the 2019 domestic one-day season. She impressed the selectors in the 7 games that she played and got a call-up for the England Academy side. She now has another opportunity to prove herself as a valuable batter for her side.
Bess Heath (Derbyshire), Rachel Slater (Yorkshire), and Layla Tipton (Durham) make up the rest of the squad.
The Northern Diamonds side will be coached by the England veteran Danielle Hazell, who has represented England in 53 ODIs and 85 T20Is. When asked about her squad, she commented, “I’m really excited about the squad we have put together, there is a real blend of youth and experience.”
They will open their campaign against Central Sparks in Edgbaston on August 29th.