Women's Cricket Super League

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Women's Cricket Super League
Women's Cricket Super League logo.png
CountriesEngland England and Wales[nb 1]
AdministratorECB
FormatTwenty20
First edition2016
Latest edition2019
Tournament formatRound-robin and knockout stage
Number of teams6
Current trophy holderWestern Storm
Most successfulWestern Storm (2 title)
TVSky Sports
WebsiteKia Super League

The Women's Cricket Super League (WCSL), known as the Kia Super League (KSL) for sponsorship reasons, is 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 features 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.

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 is scheduled to end after the 2019 season, with the ECB's new 100-ball format launching in 2020 for city-based franchises incorporating both men's and women's teams. This will leave no top-level domestic women's competition in the Twenty20 format.

History[edit]

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] Following the ECB's announcement that their 100-ball competition will launch in 2020, featuring new city-based franchises with both men's and women's teams,[8] the WCSL is scheduled to be scrapped following the 2019 season. This will mean there will be no longer be a top-level women's domestic competition in the Twenty20 format.[9]

Teams[edit]

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 include 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
Team Hosts and partners Home grounds Captain
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[edit]

List of Women's Cricket Super League champions
Year Winner Runners-up Venue Player (club) Runs Player (club) Wickets Notes
Leading run-scorer Leading 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[edit]

The County Ground in Chelmsford staged the 2016 WCSL finals day

Matches are played in a Twenty20 format. The six teams initially play each other twice each in a round robin, from which the top three finishers qualify for the finals day at a neutral venue. The second and third placed teams then meet in the semi-final for the right to face the first placed team in the final. The finals day was staged at the County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford, in 2016 [12][23] and the County Cricket Ground, Hove, in 2017.[24]

Media coverage[edit]

The 2016 tournament wasn't 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 will broadcast twelve live matches from the expanded 2018 competition.[28]

Sponsorship[edit]

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 is known as the Kia Super League.[29]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Officially, the competition covers England and Wales, as the England and Wales Cricket Board governs the sport in both countries; however, all current teams are based in England.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burnton, Simon (18 June 2015). "ECB announces plan to launch Women's Cricket Super League next year". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Women's Cricket Super League receives 28 bids at first stage". BBC Sport. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Women's Cricket Super League enters next stage of host award process". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Women's Cricket Super League: Six successful bids announced for new T20 league". BBC Sport. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Women's Cricket Super League 'can produce players for England'". BBC Sport. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Women's Super League: Plans for 50-over event in 2017 shelved". BBC Sport. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Kia Super League 'instrumental' to England Women's World Cup win". BBC Sport. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  8. ^ Martin, Ali (19 April 2018). "ECB unveils plans for tournament with 100-ball format and 10-ball special over". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  9. ^ Aldred, Tanya (17 July 2018). "Women's Super League kicks off … before all six teams are kicked out". the Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Women's Cricket Super League hosts announced". England and Wales Cricket Board. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  11. ^ "WCSL: Yorkshire Diamonds host Loughborough Lightning in opening game". BBC Sport. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  12. ^ a b "ECB Women's Cricket Super League 2016 match schedule" (pdf). England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Charlotte Edwards named Southern Vipers skipper for Women's Super League". BBC Sport. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Lanning, Taylor, Bates among WSL overseas stars". ESPNcricinfo. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2016 / Most runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2016 / Most wickets". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2017 / Most runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2017 / Most wickets". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2018 / Most runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2018 / Most wickets". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2019 / Most runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Records / Women's Cricket Super League, 2019 / Most wickets". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  23. ^ "WCSL team names and schedule revealed". England and Wales Cricket Board. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Kia Super League Finals Day 'great' for women's cricket". Sky Sports. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  25. ^ Macpherson, Will (21 August 2016). "Kia Super League finals day marks end of new beginning for women's game". The Guardian.
  26. ^ Nicholson, Raf (4 July 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Kia Super League On TMS But No Sky Coverage". CRICKETher.
  27. ^ "Sky Sports to broadcast live Kia Women's Super League cricket". Sky Sports. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Sky Sports to broadcast 12 Kia Super League matches in 2018 in huge year of women's sport". Sky Sports. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Kia Motors to sponsor WCSL". England and Wales Cricket Board. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.

External links[edit]