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