Words by Laura Williamson
Women’s cricket has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, from international cricket right down to grassroots. The game has evolved immensely and, arguably, since the turn of the century, has undergone its greatest progression since its inception.
The last year in particular has been a phenomenal one for England, with World Cup glory leading to nationwide accolades and recognition, not just within the cricketing world but the entirety of the sporting community.
Performing in front of a sell-out Lord’s crowd, winning BBC Sports Personality’s Team of the Year and finally, having three members of that World Cup winning squad being named amongst the five Wisden cricketers of the year.
Thus, with such success on the international stage, it comes as little surprise that the domestic game should develop as a result. After all, the strength of an international side is very much a product of a strong pool of players from which to pick, which is only enhanced by the domestic format of the game.
This year the Kia Super League enters its third year; its inception in the 2016 summer season a huge success off the back of an equally impressive Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.
Year upon year the competition, much like that of its male counterpart, has looked to develop to become an increasingly impressive spectacle that captures the attention and imagination of players and fans alike.
This year’s tournament has continued along that path, expanding to offer more games an
d even greater competition. The 2018 edition of the Kia Super League sees the number of fixtures doubled, offering fans in England the chance to see top flight players from around the world competing across the six teams.
Made up of a mixture of home grown international stars, overseas icons and up-and-coming talent; the competition is beginning to bridge the gap between the professional and amateur game and offer more players the opportunity to perform at a higher level.
The doubling in length of the tournament highlights not only the success it has endured but of the progression of women’s cricket in general, and suggests the power and influence investing domestically has on the game’s international outlook.
Whilst women’s international cricket has been on the rise for some time, it is only in the past few years that we have seen a definitive rise in the domestic equivalent.
The growth of the latter is a welcoming sight and is a real driving force for not only getting young girls interested and involved in the game, but also in the ability to offer women who are knocking on the door of the international side the chance to face some of the highest quality players in the game.
As time goes on hopefully this tournament, which is still in its infancy, will continue to grow and develop the women’s game. It will continue to push the boundaries and propel women’s cricket into a new era.
Keep your eye out for the 2018 Kia Super League fixtures which begin on 22nd July with Surrey Stars taking on first year winners and 2017 runner-up Southern Vipers.