Sky to broad­cast RHF Tro­phy fi­nal in fur­ther boost to women’s game

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Cricket - By Molly McEl­wee

Women’s do­mes­tic cricket re­ceived an­other sig­nif­i­cant boost yes­ter­day with the news that the Rachael Hey­hoe-Flint Tro­phy fi­nal will be broad­cast live on Sky Sports next month.

The 50-over tour­na­ment, set to be­gin on Satur­day, will cul­mi­nate in a live tele­vised fi­nal at Edg­bas­ton on Sept 27, in do­mes­tic women’s cricket’s first re­turn to screens since the Kia Su­per League fi­nal on Sept 1 last year.

This year should have seen the launch of the Hun­dred, which was to be broad­cast on the BBC be­fore its can­cel­la­tion due to coro­n­avirus. The Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board has had to adapt its sched­ule ac­cord­ingly, and this one-off tour­na­ment is a win in a sum­mer that some wor­ried would in­volve no women’s cricket.

Clare Con­nor, the ECB di­rec­tor of women’s cricket, thanked the re­gional di­rec­tors for their ef­forts to get them to this point, and said she was “de­lighted” by the news of Sky’s in­volve­ment, giv­ing the tour­na­ment a plat­form.

“[Sky] have for a long time been ex­cel­lent part­ners and cham­pi­ons of the women’s game, and we’re hugely grate­ful to them for their con­tin­ued sup­port,” she said. “Edg­bas­ton is a bril­liant venue for the fi­nal, with a great track record of host­ing do­mes­tic fi­nals. It’s also a great fit be­cause of Rachael’s links to the West Mid­lands.

“The im­pact of Covid-19 has demon­strated just how vi­tal it is to have a sus­tain­able and com­pet­i­tive do­mes­tic struc­ture that gives our do­mes­tic women’s crick­eters the chance to make a liv­ing from the game and also raises the stan­dard of women’s cricket in Eng­land and Wales.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done to pro­tect the mo­men­tum of the women’s game across this chal­leng­ing pe­riod.”

It was the sec­ond an­nounce­ment of this kind from the ECB in as many days, af­ter it re­vealed on Tues­day that Eng­land Women’s series against West Indies next month would be broad­cast live on BBC for the first time in 27 years.

All eight re­gional teams in the RHF Tro­phy will be live-stream­ing their home group matches through­out the com­pe­ti­tion.

De­lighted: ECB di­rec­tor of women’s cricket, Clare Con­nor, is thrilled Sky will show the fi­nal live from Edg­bas­ton on Sept 27

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