Sussex Chief Executive Rob Andrew has welcomed the arrival of the Kia Super League to the county as the premier domestic women’s competition spreads its wings.
After playing two games at the Ageas Bowl, the Southern Vipers head along the coast to Arundel on Saturday to take on Yorkshire Diamonds (2.30pm).
The Vipers have already qualified for Finals Day, which Andrew’s Sussex will be hosting at Hove next Friday, but a victory – and defeat for Surrey Stars against Loughborough Lightning – could see the reigning champions qualify in top spot and go straight into the final.
With four Sussex players in the Vipers squad – Danni Wyatt, Ellen Burt, Izzy Collis and Georgia Adams – there is no shortage of local interest and Andrew is delighted that the county is hosting a KSL game for the first time.
He said: “The women’s game is growing all the time and we’re seeing evidence of that in Sussex. The World Cup success has given girls who want to take up cricket great role models to aspire to.
“This week they get to see their heroes in action. We’re delighted that Arundel is hosting the Vipers and we’re hoping it can attract a big crowd. There is lots of Sussex interest in the squad and lots of top players to watch, including several of our World Cup winners.
“We then look forward to welcoming the Vipers and the other two qualifiers to Finals Day on September 1. That will be a great day out for all the family and a wonderful occasion for us to host.”
Vipers bounced back from last Sunday’s defeat to Surrey in style when they cruised to a six-wicket win over Lancashire Thunder in Liverpool on Wednesday after bowling out the hosts for 87. Wyatt made 46 off 29 balls to lead the chase after a rare failure by Suzy Bates, who was out for 13 – the first time she had been dismissed this season.
Wyatt said: “We need to win on Saturday, because it will give us some momentum to take into Finals Day.
“It was good to qualify with a game to spare and we’re looking forward to Hove, which should be an amazing day and my first experience of it.
“But we need to give it our all again on Saturday. Every game feels like an international because of the quality in each team and it’s hard work. Yorkshire will be no different, especially as they need to win to have a chance of qualifying.”