Beau­mont’s Kent cruise to women’s county ti­tle

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Cricket - By Is­abelle West­bury

With no final and lit­tle fan­fare, Kent romped to the Royal Lon­don Women’s County One-day Cham­pi­onship crown with a game to spare. A six-wicket vic­tory over Lan­cashire made it six wins in a row, seal­ing a record eighth ti­tle in what is likely to be the final One-day County Cham­pi­onship.

Shrewd recruiting, com­bined with a strong mix of ex­pe­ri­ence – they are cap­tained by Eng­land’s Tammy Beau­mont – and ex­cit­ing ta­lent, have made Kent a well-bal­anced side, which was enough to see off sec­ond-placed York­shire.

The women’s county ver­sion is am­a­teur and fea­tures only lim­ite­dovers cricket. In line with the re­struc­tur­ing of the men’s do­mes­tic game, how­ever, the 50-over and Twenty20 com­pe­ti­tions are set to be re­or­gan­ised in favour of a re­gional com­pe­ti­tion along­side The Hun­dred. It is part of an ini­tial £20 mil­lion in­vest­ment by the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board, which the gov­ern­ing body hopes is the first step of many to­wards the semi-pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of the do­mes­tic women’s game.

It has not been with­out its con­tro­ver­sies, how­ever, and there re­mains con­cern around the un­cer­tainty brought by the ECB’S de­ci­sion not to fi­nalise next year’s struc­ture of women’s do­mes­tic cricket un­til the end of this sea­son.

Mid­dle­sex will play a com­pet­i­tive women’s county match for the first time on the main ground at Lord’s today, when they play Sur­rey for the an­nual Lon­don Cup.

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