White Ferns and Whanganui allrounder Jess Watkin will be at the forefront of a Central Districts Cricket initiative to take CD women's cricket to new levels.
CDC has introduced a new women's cricket competition, designed to take the CD female game to the next level.
Four new franchise teams — New Plymouth Power, Palmerston North Tui, Tararua Kotahi and the Coastal Challengers Levin have been created to contest the inaugural Central Super League (CSL) that will begin in Palmerston North on Saturday, November 28.
Players from throughout CD's widespread region — which stretches from Hawke's Bay to Taranaki and to the top of the South Island — will be able to play in the league, with a 52-player draft to take place tomorrow.
NZC Development player and 2019/20 Central Hinds Player of the Year Watkin is one of four key players announced before tomorrow's draft
She will star for the Coastal Challengers, and Hinds one-day captain Anlo van Deventer will bring her tactical acumen to the Tararua Kotahi.
White Ferns and Central Hinds allrounder Hannah Rowe will headline the Palmerston North Tui; while fellow White Ferns and Hinds wicketkeeper/batsman Natalie Dodd will be donning the gold of New Plymouth Power.
The first edition of the CSL will begin with two rounds of 50-over one-dayers across the inaugural weekend in Palmerston North, followed by four T20 rounds in Levin on February 27/28.
"This is a hugely exciting opportunity for female performance cricket in Central Districts," said Jamie Watkins, CDCA's Coach, Female Performance and Pathways and head coach of the Central Hinds.
"Currently we have a big gap between the level of cricket at The Shrimpton Trophy and the jump to Hinds level, as well as the fact that only four of our eight districts have Shrimpton Trophy teams — largely due to the logistics involved, with our geographic spread across the North and South Islands.
"The Central Super League will give an opportunity to the best players from all eight of our districts to be involved in an evenly-matched competition, no matter where they are based within CD."
Meanwhile, Central Districts have today named a strong CD A side to play a three-day match against Wellington A at Napier's Nelson Park from 10am today, to be captained by Central Stags batsman and Whanganui cricketer Ben Smith.
Smith missed selection to the Stags line-up to play Northern Districts in the much anticipated opening round of the 2020/21 Plunket Shield which began on Monday at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
(Draft, draw, coaches to be announced next week)
Round 1 (50 overs) Saturday, November 28, Manawaroa Park, Palmerston North
Round 2 (50 overs) Sunday, November 29, Manawaroa Park, Palmerston North
Round 3 (T20) Saturday, February 27, Donnelly Park, Levin
Round 4 (T20) Saturday, February 27, Donnelly Park, Levin
Round 5 (T20) Sunday, February 28, Donnelly Park, Levin
Round 6 (T20) Sunday, February 28, Donnelly Park, Levin