Charlotte Edwards: Women's Cricket Super League can 'bridge the gap'

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport
Lydia Greenway, Charlotte Edwards and Tash Farrant
Lydia Greenway, Charlotte Edwards and Tash Farrant will all play for the Southern Vipers

England captain Charlotte Edwards is hopeful the Women's Cricket Super League can "bridge the gap" between domestic and international cricket.

The national team have struggled since becoming fully professional in 2014.

They lost the Women's Ashes at home last summer and were beaten in the semi-finals of the recent World T20.

"We're going to see the best playing the best and hopefully help prepare us for international cricket," 36-year-old Edwards told BBC Sport.

"The WCSL is something that was needed for our game. Hopefully it will give more experienced players an opportunity to stake a claim for an England spot.

"The great thing about this competition is that some of the younger players in the country are going to get to play with and against some of the best players in the world."

Six teams will compete in the new Twenty20 competition, which runs from 30 July to 14 August.

All players will be given a standard match fee for each game they play in, plus expenses for training and practice - a contrast to the domestic county game for which they receive little or no pay.

And she believes the WCSL can emulate the success of the inaugural Women's Big Bash in Australia, when the Melbourne derby on 2 January - played as a double header with the men's fixture - drew a peak TV audience of 631,000 and a crowd of 12,000.

Edwards, who will play for Southern Vipers in the WCSL, was a member of the Perth Scorchers squad for that competition, which was won by Sydney Thunder.

"Having been out in the Big Bash you realise how big an impact you can have. Hopefully a lot of people will come and watch and young girls will have role models there for them. We just need the fans to come out and see what a great product it is," she added.