English cricket is slowly but steadily recovering from the coronavirus crisis, with England men playing West Indies and Ireland, the next step for ECB is to focus their efforts on the English domestic cricket.
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Friday that eight teams will compete against each other in a regionalized 50-over tournament scheduled to begin later this year, the format of the tournament would be two groups of four teams each. The tournament is called Women’s Elite Domestic Competition and it is all part of ECB’s plan to ‘transform’ women’s cricket with the motive of making cricket a gender-balanced sport.
The ECB had big plans for developing women’s cricket in England and Wales including a funding boost of £20million over the next two years, with a total of £50m by 2024. A part of the ECB’s commitment to women’s cricket was 40 professional contracts to be awarded in April, but those deals had to be delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: “The efforts to deliver a new one-off men’s and women’s competition to meet the unprecedented requirements of playing professional cricket during a pandemic have been remarkable.”
“I am pleased that we have also been able to schedule women’s domestic cricket and ensure competitive competition. We will need to remain agile to the challenges that will await us during the shortened domestic season with the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, officials, and fans continuing to be our first priority,” he added.
One of the regional hubs that will compete in the Women’s Elite Domestic Competition is the ‘Sunnrisers’, a team that features the best players from across first-class counties of Middlesex, Essex and Northamptonshire, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and the national counties of Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire. The Sunrisers are London and East regional Women’s hub.
The Sunrisers also announced the three players that they will be retaining Cordelia Griffith, Naomi Dattani and Amara Carr who all formerly played for Middlesex.
Speaking on the Sunrisers team launch, Regional Director of Women’s Cricket, Danni Warren said “Today’s unveiling is the culmination of a period of consultation across the entire region and pathway. It was key for us to embody those who we represent, and I am so grateful to all of those who have assisted in bringing this to life. We have a visual that we can be proud of and seeing our players and coaching staff wearing the Sunrisers logo for the first time was an immensely proud moment.”
The Sunrisers also bolstered their coaching department with the announcement of Trevor Griffin as the new head coach.