Hampshire and Surrey consider Women's Super League bids

Ageas Bowl
The Ageas Bowl near Southampton has a "nursery ground" alongside the main ground

Hampshire and Surrey are to explore the possibility of hosting one of the six new Women's Super League franchises.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has pledged £3m for a new professional competition from 2016 with the process to determine hosts under way.

Successful franchise bids will be confirmed at the end of the year.

Surrey have told BBC Sport they will definitely submit a bid while Hampshire are to look into using the Ageas Bowl as a venue for a franchise.

"It's very early days, but something we're looking in to," Hampshire commercial director Stuart Robertson told BBC Radio Solent.

"It looks like an exciting project and something that could fit in well with the unique facilities we have at the Ageas Bowl, as well as complement our existing programmes for women and girls."

Surrey will look to use The Oval as the focus of its bid.

"Our vision is this team will share the same resources and facilities available to the Surrey players and the international teams that currently play at The Oval," a club spokesman said.

Former Surrey and England batter and BBC Test Match Special summariser Ebony Rainford-Brent was recently appointed the county's first director of women's cricket.

The Women's Super League will be a T20 competition only for its first year before branching out to both T20 and 50-over formats from 2017.

The plan is to attract the world's best players to compete alongside England's leading female cricketers.

Expressions of interests for franchises must be submitted by 3 August and interviews with prospective hosts are set to take place in November.

Confirmation of the final awards is expected in December.

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