England Head Coach Mark Robinson wants Tammy Beaumont and the other national players who will play for Southern Vipers to dominate the Kia Super League when it gets underway later this month.
Beaumont, who has joined from Surrey Stars, is one of four England players who will link up with the Vipers at the end of England’s three-match one-day series against New Zealand along with Danni Wyatt, Tash Farrant and Katie George.
All six teams have made some eye-catching overseas signings for the new-look T20 competition which will see each play the other twice before the top three clash at Finals Day at Hove on August 27.
The Vipers will again be captained by Suzie Bates while South African Mignon du Preez returns for a second season and New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr, who made a world record 232 in an ODI against Ireland last month, is another new face.
Sharks off to a T20 Blast flyer in Essex
But Robinson wants home grown talent to shine through. He said: “There are some world-class players coming in for the tournament which is fantastic for its profile, but this year I’d like to see our best cricketers dominate the KSL and prove they are good enough to be regarded among the best in the world.
“A lot of them have done well in the recent T20 tri-series against South Africa and New Zealand and this is a good opportunity for them to express themselves on the domestic stage.”
Vipers kick off their campaign against Surrey Stars at Guildford on July 22 before taking on Loughborough Lightning in their first home game three days later at the Ageas Bowl.
There are three home-grown additions to their squad: 22-year-old Sussex all-rounder Paige Scholfield, Maia Boucher – the 19-year-old Middlesex batsman who played for Auckland last winter – and Lauren Bell, a 17-year-old all-rounder from Wiltshire who was part of the senior England Academy squad during the winter.
Sara McGlashan, who was part of the Vipers team which won the inaugural competition in 2016, has also returned.
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards, who will be in charge this season in her role as Hampshire’s Director of Women’s Cricket, believes there is real strength in depth in Vipers’ squad.
“We have some of the best players in the world in this group who will be able to bring out some of the best talent in this country,” she said. “Sara is available under UK passport regulations and she will add real quality and experience. The younger players will learn a lot from working and playing with Sara.”