The ECB has confirmed its new domestic women’s 50-over competition will be named the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in honour of England’s World Cup-winning captain.
A special-edition one-day competition, created specially for the summer of 2020, the event aims to ensure that women’s domestic cricket is played, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.
The month-long competition will begin on the August Bank Holiday weekend and will feature the eight teams from the new elite domestic structure playing in two regionalised groups of four.
Each team will play six group-stage matches with the top team in each group to progress to a final to be staged on Saturday, 26th September. The final will be hosted by the finalist with the most points at the end of the group stage.
“I’m delighted that, despite the obvious challenges of COVID-19, we have been able to continue to build the new women’s elite domestic structure to the point that we’ll see the eight regions playing 50-over cricket this summer,” said Clare Connor, Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, ECB.
“Off the back of appointing the eight Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket and awarding Regional Retainers, we have worked closely with colleagues across the men’s domestic game to ensure we are able to stage domestic women’s cricket safely and at high-quality venues.
“Rachael Heyhoe Flint would have been proud to witness the professionalisation of the domestic women’s game. She did so much for our sport and without her work, passion and dedication, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“It’s therefore fitting that this special edition of the competition will be played in her honour. I’d personally like to extend my thanks to Rachael’s son, Ben, with whom we collaborated on the logo for the competition.”
South East Stars bowler Tash Farrant said: “I’m so glad we’ll be playing domestic cricket this summer. I know in the wake of COVID-19 it’s taken a lot of work to get to this point and it’s really important that we’ve got here.
“Playing regular and competitive regional cricket will be vital for the women’s domestic game, and it’s good that even in the current climate we’ve seen an emphasis placed on getting it across the line.
“I can’t wait to play, and I’m sure it’s the same for every player. To be competing this year for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy, given everything she has done for women’s cricket, is particularly special and hopefully the trophy will head the way of South East Stars.”
The competition is named after Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who captained England to the first-ever Cricket World Cup title in 1973. The ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year Award, was also named after her in 2017 after her death that year.
The full schedule for the ECB’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy will be released alongside the Vitality Blast fixtures on Wednesday 12th August.