Aussies abroad: Webb joins England domestic influx

Eight Australians will be busy this winter after signing on to play in this year's Charlotte Edwards Cup and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

Eight Australian women will feature in England's domestic regional tournaments this northern hemisphere summer.

The 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup are England’s elite-level competitions for women, featuring eight regional teams (as opposed to the men's two-tier county system).

The eight-team CE Cup runs from May 18 to June 22. The RHF Trophy begins on April 20 and ends on September 21, with breaks for the CE Cup and The Hundred, which runs from July 23 – August 17.

Courtney Webb – Central Sparks

The South Australia and Renegades star is the latest Australian to sign on to play in the UK, joining the Central Sparks, who represent the West Midlands, in both tournaments.

She will make her first appearance on May 1. 

Heather Graham – The Blaze 

The Australia allrounder has joined East Midlands outfit The Blaze for the final five group games of the 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup, followed by four 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches before The Hundred begins, where Graham will play for Trent Rockets.

She will fill the gap left by Nadine de Klerk when the South Africa allrounder is unavailable due to international commitments.

Nicola Hancock – Sunrisers

Initially signed for the first six games of the RHF Trophy season, the Queensland and Heat quick has extended her stay with the Sunrisers – who represent nine counties including Middlesex, Essex and Northamptonshire – to include the Charlotte Edwards Cup after Dané van Niekerk withdrew from the T20 competition for personal reasons. 

Katie Mack – Thunder

Experienced Adelaide Strikers and ACT top-order batter Mack will play for the Lancashire Thunder in the RHF Trophy in two spells in April-May and August-September.

Georgia Voll – Thunder

Joining Mack at the Thunder is Brisbane Heat and Queensland allrounder Voll, who will be available for the entire T20 Charlotte Edwards Cup, and will also feature in four RHF Trophy games in June-July in place of Mack.

Erin Burns – Northern Diamonds

Burns will spend a second consecutive summer in the United Kingdom, but this time the NSW and Sixers allrounder has signed with the Yorkshire-based Northern Diamonds, where she will be available until mid-July. Burns spent last year with Central Sparks, before staying on to join Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred.

Amanda-Jade Wellington – Western Storm

The leg-spinner has signed with Western Storm – based across Somerset, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan – and will be available for the entire season. She will also appear in The Hundred after being drafted by Oval Invincibles.

Charli Knott Southern Vipers 

In February, Southampton-based Southern Vipers announced they had secured the services of exciting Brisbane Heat allrounder Knott for their first 10 RFH Trophy games and the entire CE Cup.

Of the eight Australians, only Wellington and Graham have deals for this season of The Hundred. 

But proximity could work in the others’ favour if any last-minute replacement players are required for the tournament in July-August.

This year’s regional teams also feature a trio of South Africans. Joining de Klerk in the UK is opener Tazmin Brits, who rejoined South East Stars for the CE Cup and the first 10 rounds of the RHF Trophy, after playing four matches for the side last year.

Dane van Niekerk’s hopes of reigniting her international career will rest largely on her performances for Sunrisers, where she will replace Hancock ahead of the start of the CE Cup.

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