Kent's Charlotte Edwards bids for record seventh county title, as other counties seek to break Kent and Sussex's stranglehold on 50-over competition.
England and Kent CCC women's captain, Charlotte Edwards, will be bidding to record a record-breaking seventh women's county championship title this summer, as her Kent team take on Yorkshire and old rivals Sussex in the opening round of the Royal London Women's One-Day Cup this Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday May 3 and Monday May 4).
Kent and Sussex have dominated the 50-over women's county competition over the last 12 years, with no other team winning the title since Yorkshire in 2002. However, with Nottinghamshire securing the ECB Women's County Twenty20 Cup last season, and a young Surrey side taking the 50-over competition down to a final match “winner takes all” showdown against Kent, this summer's competition is set to be an open and exciting affair.
The majority of the contracted England women's players will be in action for their respective counties this weekend, as they look to get as much match practice as possible ahead of the Women's Ashes series, which gets underway in Taunton on July 21.
In addition, Australian women's trio, Alex Blackwell (Berkshire), Beth Mooney (Yorkshire) and Erin Osborne (Sussex), will also play in the early rounds of the Royal London Women's One-Day Cup this summer, as they look to get used to English conditions before the Women's Ashes.
Speaking ahead of the start of the competition this weekend, England and Kent CCC women's captain, Charlotte Edwards said: “I cannot wait to start the county season and get back onto the field with Kent. I love playing for Kent and I am always really excited to see what fresh new talent there is out their around the country.
“Playing in the Royal London Women's One-Day Cup gives me the perfect opportunity to put into practice some of the things that I personally have been working on in the nets over the winter, and also lets me see first-hand the next generation of England women's cricketers coming through. There's no better place to talent-spot than actually out there in the middle. Someone like Sonia Odedra is the perfect example of what can happen if you perform in county cricket, after she made her Test debut last summer against India following a series of strong performances for Nottinghamshire.”
Comprising four divisions – with division four split into two groups based on geographical location (North & East and South & West) – the Royal London Women's One-Day Cup is the ECB's annual 50-over women's county cricket competition, and incorporates 34 county teams, in addition to representative sides from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands. In 2015, divisions one and two will play in coloured kit and use a white ball for the first time.
In addition to the 50-over Royal London Women's One-Day Cup, women's county teams will also compete in the ECB Women's County Twenty20 Cup in 2015, with fixtures organised in round-robin leagues and scheduled across June 14, July 5, August 2 and August 16.