When does it start and how long does it go for?
The second edition of the Super League gets underway on August 10 and will run for three weeks. Each of the six teams will meet once during the group stage, starting on Thursday when last year’s finalists Western Storm and Southern Vipers meet in Southampton. The top three teams will progress to the finals day, where the second and third-ranked teams will play off for a spot in the final against the top-ranked qualifier.
What happened last year?
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards led the Southern Vipers to the tournament’s inaugural title, defeating the Western Storm in the final.
Which Australians will be involved?
Five Australians will feature in the Super League this year, with three of those to line up for Loughborough Lightning. Allrounder Ellyse Perry returns for the franchise after donning the pink and purple last season and she’ll be joined by newcomers Elyse Villani and Kristen Beams. Allrounder Jess Jonassen will make her first Super League appearance for Lancashire Thunder, while seamer Rene Farrell will turn out for the first time since announcing her one-day international retirement when she returns for a second season with Surrey Stars.
What other international stars will feature?
New Zealand lead the way with six representatives: captain Suzie Bates (Vipers), Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu (both Thunder), Holly Huddleston, Rachel Priest (both Storm) and Sophie Devine.
South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk was forced to pull out of the Super League due to a thigh injury, but she’s been replaced by another Protea at Western Storm in the form of Mignon du Preez. A total of four Proteas will feature, with Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee (both Stars) and Sune Luus (Diamonds) also in action.
West Indies failed to make the World Cup semi-finals, but several of their biggest names have stuck around in the UK for the Super League – Stafanie Taylor (Storm) and Hayley Mathews (Vipers).
A Sri Lankan player will also feature in the Super League for the first time, with Charmari Athapathu – who made headlines around the world for her unbeaten 178 against Australia during the Women’s World Cup – a late recruit for Yorkshire Diamonds, replacing Australian opener Beth Mooney who opted out of the tournament to rest ahead of this summer’s Ashes.
Last year’s cellar dwellers will be hoping the return of England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor will be the key to improved performances this time around. Lancashire also gain the services of Australian left-arm spinning allrounder Jess Jonassen, who had signed with the club last year but was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury.
Captain: Danielle Hazell
2016 result: Sixth
Full squad: Danielle Hazell (c), Sarah Taylor, Kate Cross, Amy Satterthwaite (NZ), Jess Jonassen (Aus), Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Eve Jones, Ellie Threlkeld, Natasha Miles, Natalie Brown, Alice Dyson, Rachel Dickinson, Ella Telford
The Lightning have bid farewell to Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk and big-hitting Kiwi Sophie Devine, but have bolstered their line-up with the addition of two Australians - batter Elyse Villani and leg-spinner Kristen Beams. They join fellow Southern Star Ellyse Perry to round out an all-Australian overseas crew.
Captain: Georgia Elwiss
2016 result: Third
Full squad: Georgia Elwiss (c), Amy Jones, Beth Langston, Ellyse Perry (Aus), Kristen Beams (Aus), Elyse Villani (Aus), Paige Scholfield, Thea Brookes, Georgia Boyce, Becky Grundy, Sonia Odedra, Marie Kelly, Sarah Glenn, Lucy Higham, Abi Freeborn
The inaugural Super League champions, the Vipers have retained two of their international stars in Suzie Bates and Hayley Matthews. They had recruited Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk, but she’s since been replaced by compatriot Mignon du Preez due to a thigh injury.
Captain: Charlotte Edwards
2016 result: Champions
Full squad: Charlotte Edwards (c), Tash Farrant, Danni Wyatt, Suzi Bates (NZ), Mignon du Preez (SA), Hayley Matthews (WI), Georgia Adams, Katie George, Linsey Smith, Ellen Burt, Arran Brindle, Tara Norris, Izzy Collis, Carla Rudd, Charlie Dean
The Stars were dealt a blow when India star Harmanpreet Kaur was ruled out due to a shoulder injury but they’ve found a promising replacement in big-hitting South Africa opener Lizelle Lee. Skipper Natalie Sciver was in fine form during England’s successful World Cup campaign and will look to carry that on in the Super League.
Captain: Natalie Sciver
2016 result: Fourth
Full squad: Nat Sciver (c), Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh, Alex Hartley, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Lizelle Lee (SA), Rene Farrell (Aus), Bryony Smith, Sophia Dunkley, Grace Gibbs, Aylish Cranstone, Hannah Jones, Naomi Dattani, Kirstie White, Cordelia Griffith
The Storm will hope leading quick Anya Shrubsole will be able to carry on her match-winning form from the World Cup final into the tournament, but they will be without the fast bowler for their opening match due to a side strain. Last year’s runners-up have retained key internationals Stafanie Taylor and Rachel Priest and also added the talent of White Ferns seamer Holly Huddleston.
Captain: Heather Knight
2016 result: Runners-up
Full squad: Heather Knight (c), Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson, Holly Huddleston (NZ), Stafanie Taylor (WI), Rachel Priest (NZ), Georgia Hennessy, Sophie Luff, Freya Davies, Danielle Gibson, Claire Nicholas, Lauren Parfitt, Jodie Dibble, Amara Carr, Alice Macleod
Yorkshire suffered a blow when Australia opener Beth Mooney was ruled out of the tournament due to injury, but they’ve picked up a replacement in the form of big-hitting Sri Lanka batter Chamari Athapaththu. They’ve also added explosive New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine and Proteas leg-spinner Sune Luus to the mix and will hope to improve on their fifth-placed finish in 2016.
Captain: Lauren Winfield
2016 result: Fifth
Full squad: Lauren Winfield (c), Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Chamari Athapathu (SL), Sune Luus (SA), Sophie Devine (NZ), Hollie Armitage, Alice Davidson-Richards, Anna Nicholls, Katie Levick, Katie Thompson, Steph Butler, Laura Crofts, Teresa Graves, Maddie Walsh
How can I follow it?
Eight matches will be broadcast on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom but with no coverage on Australian television, cricket.com.au will have you covered with live scores.