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17th February 2021 Women

Northern Diamonds returning to Emirates Riverside in 2021

Northern Diamonds will return to Emirates Riverside in 2021 as The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and a new Women’s Regional T20 competition will see a full summer of women’s domestic cricket played.

Northern Diamonds who are made up of players from Durham, Yorkshire and Northumberland will play three fixtures in Chester le Street in late August and early September against Western Storm and Thunder.

Western Storm will be the first visitors to Emirates Riverside on Saturday 28 August for the Regional T20 competition, with the South West & Wales side returning on Friday 10 September in The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Thunder will then play Northern Diamonds in the penultimate Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy group stage game on Sunday 12 September.

56 matches will be played across both competitions throughout the summer after the ECB today announced all fixtures.  The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy will begin on 29 May with each of the eight teams to play each other once in the group stage. The final is to be held on 25 September.

The Women’s Regional T20 is set to commence on 26 June with the eight teams split into two groups of four. Each team will play three home and three away matches during the group stage before Finals Day on 5 September.

Southern Vipers won the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last September and, following the popularity of the decision to name last summer’s competition after one of English cricket’s most revered names, it was decided that the tournament should continue to honour the former England captain and pioneer.

Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint OBE led England at the first-ever World Cup in 1973 while off the field her determination for equality laid the foundations for the opportunities presented to modern-day players.

This summer 41 female players have signed full-time professional domestic contracts – in addition to 17 centrally contracted England players – while the launch of The Hundred will establish further opportunity for female cricketers.

ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said: “This promises to be a truly memorable summer of cricket for the women’s game.

“We are not only set to further professionalise the game with more players on full-time contracts than ever before but, crucially, we will showcase our game to more young girls across England and Wales so that they can say cricket is a game for them.

“I am particularly proud that we will continue to move forward with Rachael Heyhoe Flint’s name, with everything she represented for women’s cricket, firmly entrenched in our journey.

“The launch of women’s regional cricket last summer, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, was another significant step forward for our domestic game. We are now looking forward to seeing those regional teams play twice as much cricket this summer with the addition of the T20 competition.”

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