Women's County Championship

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Women's County Championship
AdministratorEngland and Wales Cricket Board
FormatLimited overs cricket
First edition1997
Latest edition2019
Tournament formatLeague system in three divisions
Number of teams35
Current championKent (2019)
Most successfulKent (8 titles)

The Women's County Championship, known since 2014 as the Royal London Women’s One-Day Cup,[1] was a women's cricket competition organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board. It was the women's equivalent of the County Championship, although it operated as a 50-over limited overs cricket competition with teams organised into a number of divisions. It was introduced in 1997 to replace the Women's Area Championship.

The teams competing in the Championship were drawn mostly from the historic counties of England, with 32 teams representing these. The Scottish national side competed in the competition since 2007, the Wales women's national cricket team since 2008 and the Netherlands joined in 2009.[2] The Ireland national team played in the competition between 2009 and 2015 before withdrawing in early 2016.[3][4]

The competition was the longest established women's cricket competition in England and Wales. It operated alongside the Women's Twenty20 Cup, established in 2009,[5] and the Women's Cricket Super League between 2016 and 2019, a franchise league with six teams playing Twenty20 cricket.[6]

2019, won by Kent, was the final season of the Championship due to a restructuring of women's cricket in England. From 2020, the only 50-over tournament was competed by regional teams, initially in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. Kent were the most successful county in the history of the Championship with eight titles, whilst Sussex and Yorkshire both won six titles.[7]

History[edit]

The inaugural Women's County Championship took place in 1997, with 16 teams competing in three divisions.[8] This first tournament was organised and run by the Women's Cricket Association, which voted to merge with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on 29 March 1998.[9] As such, the ECB has administered the competition since 1998.[9]

Yorkshire were the winners of five of the first six Championships,[10] with East Midlands breaking their run in 1999.[11] After this began a period that was dominated by Sussex and Kent. Sussex won six titles between 2003 and 2013, including three in a row between 2003 and 2005,[12] whilst Kent won eight titles between 2006 and 2019.[13] Yorkshire managed one more title, in 2015, whilst Lancashire and Hampshire have won one title apiece, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.[14] Hampshire's title came after a remarkable rise through the divisions, winning Division 3 in 2015 and Division 2 in 2017 before being crowned County Champions one year later.[15]

2019 marked the final year of the County Championship as women's cricket in England was restructured by the ECB, paving the way for a regionalised 50-over tournament, as well as the Women's Hundred.[7][16]

Structure[edit]

The Championship operated on a league structure, with varying amounts of divisions and teams over its history. The first Championship involved 16 teams split across three divisions.[8] Gradually more teams were added over the years (and county sides replaced the regional and Second XI sides that initially competed), and in 2004, which had 24 participants, a second tier was added, the County Challenge Cup.[17] In 2008 (which had 33 teams participating) the Challenge Cup was ended and teams were placed in Divisions 1 to 5.[18] This became four divisions in 2012 and finally three divisions in 2017, a structure that continued until the Championship ended in 2019.[19][20]

Varying amounts of teams have participated in the Championship over the years, reaching a peak of 38 teams in 2015. 35 teams competed in the final season of the Championship in 2019. The teams that have participated in the tournament are:[21]

County Championship Teams
Team First Last
Berkshire 2000 2019
Buckinghamshire 2010 2019
Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire 2010 2019
Cheshire 1998 2016
Cornwall 2005 2019
Cumbria 2001 2019
Derbyshire 1997 2019
Devon 2005 2019
Dorset 2005 2019
Durham 2001 2019
East Anglia 1997 2000
East Midlands 1997 1999
Essex 2001 2019
Gloucestershire 2007 2019
Hampshire 1997 2019
Hertfordshire 2001 2019
Ireland 2009 2015
Kent 1997 2019
Lancashire 1998 2019
Lancashire and Cheshire 1997 1997
Leicestershire and Rutland 2004 2019
Lincolnshire 2015 2019
Middlesex 1997 2019
Netherlands 2009 2019
Norfolk 2002 2019
Northamptonshire 2001 2019
Northumberland 1998 2019
Nottinghamshire 2000 2019
Oxfordshire 2007 2019
Scotland 2007 2019
Shropshire 2008 2018
Somerset 2000 2019
Staffordshire 2000 2019
Suffolk 2007 2019
Surrey 1997 2019
Surrey Second XI 1997 2000
Sussex 1997 2019
Sussex Second XI 1997 2000
Thames Valley 1997 1999
Wales 2004 2019
Warwickshire 2001 2019
Wiltshire 2001 2019
West 1997 1999
West Midlands 1997 1999
Worcestershire 2004 2019
Yorkshire 1997 2019
Yorkshire Second XI 1997 2000

Roll of honour[edit]

Year Champions Runners-up Leading run-scorer Leading wicket-taker Refs
2019 Kent Yorkshire Sophia Dunkley (Middlesex) 451 Katie Thompson (Yor); Natalie Rowbottom (Lin); Rebecca Silk (Dev); Beth Langston (Yor) 15 [22][23][24]
2018 Hampshire Yorkshire Suzie Bates (Hampshire) 358 Kirstie Gordon (Nottinghamshire) 23 [25][26][27]
2017 Lancashire Yorkshire Suzie Bates (Hampshire) 494 Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire) 27 [28][29][30]
2016 Kent Sussex Kirstie White (Surrey) 337 Samantha Betts (Hampshire) 18 [31][32][33]
2015 Yorkshire Kent Charlotte Taylor (Hampshire) 422 Sarah Clarke (Surrey) 23 [34][35][36]
2014 Kent Surrey Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 491 Jo Gardner (Northamptonshire) 19 [37][38][39]
2013 Sussex Yorkshire Heather Knight (Berkshire) 604 Jenny Withers (Somerset) 20 [40][41][42]
2012 Kent Essex Sarah Taylor (Sussex) 345 Isobelle Watson (Warwickshire) 18 [43][44][45]
2011 Kent Sussex Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 541 Jane Riddell (Durham) 28 [46][47][48]
2010 Sussex Kent Lydia Greenway (Kent) 628 Danielle Wyatt (Staffordshire) 24 [49][50][51]
2009 Kent Sussex Heather Knight (Devon) 622 Charlotte Anneveld (Kent) 24 [52][53][54]
2008 Sussex Kent Heather Knight (Devon) 390 Isabelle Westbury (Somerset); Hannah Courtnell (Essex); Charlotte Anneveld (Kent) 12 [55][56][57]
2007 Kent Sussex Emily Drumm (Kent) 222 Lynsey Askew (Kent) 13 [58][59][60]
2006 Kent Sussex Jenny Gunn (Nottinghamshire) 356 Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 12 [61][62][63]
2005 Sussex Kent Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 302 Judith Turner (Berkshire); Dawn Prestidge (Cheshire) 10 [64][65][66]
2004 Sussex Kent Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 308 Heather Booth (Berkshire) 12 [67][68][69]
2003 Sussex Nottinghamshire Taryn Keir (Warwickshire) 303 Lynne Spooner (Derbyshire) 12 [70][71][72]
2002 Yorkshire Berkshire Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 233 Vicky Borman (Hertfordshire) 14 [73][74][75]
2001 Yorkshire Berkshire Arran Brindle (Lancashire) 274 Yvonne Craven (Berkshire); Susanne White (Lancashire) 13 [76][77][78]
2000 Yorkshire Nottinghamshire Charlotte Edwards (Kent) 374 Nicky Myers (Nottinghamshire) 13 [79][80][81]
1999 East Midlands Yorkshire Jane Smit (East Midlands) 335 Janet Tedstone (Yorkshire Second XI); Dawn Holden (East Midlands); Beth Morgan (Middlesex) 13 [82][83][84]
1998 Yorkshire Surrey Charlotte Edwards (East Anglia) 394 Sarah Clarke (Surrey Second XI) 12 [85][86][87]
1997 Yorkshire West Midlands Jane Smit (East Midlands) 429 Helen Pack (West Midlands) 11 [8][88][89]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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