Seven Hawke's Bay cricketers will be taking part in the inaugural Central Super League this weekend with the new Central Districts women's franchise competition about to begin.
The four-team competition has been created to help bridge the gap for up and coming cricketers aiming for selection to the Central Hinds and CD Women's Under-19s.
Current Hinds from Hawke's Bay Kerry Tomlinson and Esther Lanser are both on board with Coastal Challengers Levin, along with fellow Hawke's Bay representatives Aniela Apperley, Flora Devonshire and Olivia Mairs.
Sophie Pyott will play for the Tararua Kotahi, and Margot Scoular is part of the New Plymouth Power team.
There are no Hawke's Bay players in the Palmerston North Tui franchise.
The first round of the competition on Saturday will see the Tui meet the Power and the Kotahi face the Challengers at Manawaroa Park in Palmerston North.
In the second round on Sunday, the Tui take on the Kotahi, with the Power playing the Challengers - all at the same venue - with all the games over the weekend being one-dayers.
Central District Cricket Association's female performance and pathways coach and head coach of the Central Hinds Jamie Watkins said it was going to be an exciting weekend.
"With the CD Under-19 squad coming up for the NZC National Tournament in January — and a chance from there to make the inaugural New Zealand team for the new ICC Women's Under-19 World Cup at this level; and the Hinds team for Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Rounds Three and Four against Wellington Blaze to be named after the weekend, there is certainly a lot to play for, both as individuals and as teams," Watkins said.
"And, all the teams will be keen to get a fast start to make sure they are in a good position leading into the T20 section of the competition in February."
The Hinds made a winning start to their Hallyburton Johnstone Shield campaign with two convincing victories over the Auckland Hearts in New Plymouth last Saturday and Sunday.
Hawke's Bay's senior women's team got their Shrimpton Trophy season off to a flier the weekend before that with a seven-wicket win over Wairarapa.
Central Super League squads (Hawke's Bay players in capitals)
Palmerston North Tui: Hannah Rowe (captain), Georgia Atkinson, Ocean Bartlett, Tayla Brown, Sarah Calkin, Gracie Donaldson, Ashleigh Hurley, Ashtuti Kumar, Sam Mackinder, Jasmine Odell, Jessica Ogden, Sarah Parker, Olivia West. Coach: Dilan Raj
New Plymouth Power: Natalie Dodd (captain), Nellie Chapman, Emily Cunningham, Amy Foreman, Claudia Green, Jess Hollard, Taila Hurley, Kelsey Husband, Lucy Mitchell, Lydia Proffitt, MARGOT SCOULAR, Georgia Wells, Aimee Wisnewski. Coach: Debu Banik
Tararua Kotahi: Anlo van Deventer (captain), Olivia Clark, Elizabeth Cohr, Kate Gaging, Melissa Hansen, Kayarna Jones-Dennes, Emma McLeod, SOPHIE PYOTT, Monique Rees, Olivia Roseingrave, Gemma Sims, Ella Southey, Ella Ranson. Coach: Brady Barnett
Coastal Challengers Levin: Jess Watkin (captain), ANIELA APPERLEY, Kate Baxter, Ayesha Carley-Hendry, FLORA DEVONSHIRE, Anna Gaging, Mikaela Greig, Amy Johnson, Sofia Kersten, ESTHER LANSER, OLIVIA MAIRS, KERRY TOMLINSON, Zoe Yeo. Coach: Warren Herbert