Middlesex Women will be kicking off their 2020 season tomorrow evening, when they travel to the Kia Oval to compete for The London Cup. Nine weeks after the original date of the fixture, and seventy-five days since their competitive season was due to start, Middlesex Women will finally be able to pull back on the county crest.
Patience will be rewarded, with all players having worked very hard during the period of lockdown. Regular strength & conditioning sessions, as a team and individually, were complemented by ingenious skills work in sometimes limited spaces. Having taken Surrey on twice already this summer, on the streets rather than the pitch, Middlesex winning the 30 minute running challenge and Surrey the 2km time trial, both sides will be eager to come out on top with bat and ball.
Not only will this game be the first domestic women’s match in 2020 but it will also be the first domestic match at county level. Taking to the field four days before their male colleagues, who meet on Sunday 26th July, this match heralds an exciting new era for women's cricket. Ahead of the inaugural ECB Women’s Elite Domestic competition at the back end of the summer a number of players involved for both counties have already sampled a taste of Elite cricket. For Middlesex, captain Naomi Dattani, vice-captain Cordelia Griffith and wicket keeper Amara Carr will all be donning their Middlesex blues again after signing retainer contracts for the Sunrisers. The occasion will also provide an opportunity for a number of other players to further their case for selection by both Sunrisers and the South East Stars, the region in which Surrey lie.
The game will be played under the Elite Stage 3 venue playing protocols, the players having sampled the new norm of daily temperature monitoring before arriving at the venue. Once at the Oval there will be strict distancing and regulations governing hand hygiene in place, with ball cleaning breaks to be taken every five overs of each innings.
The London Cup is an annual T20 match between Middlesex and Surrey, first played in 2015. To date Middlesex have come out victors on every occasion, most recently winning a nail biting match at Lords in May 2019. This year the two sides will be calling upon the experience of two legends of their counties, with Beth Morgan joining the Middlesex staff for the day and Ebony Rainford-Brent working with Surrey. You can follow the battle live on the night, both through a stream on the Middlesex Cricket website and on social media channels.
Before the match begins, both sets of players will take a knee in solidarity with anti-racism movements in the UK and across the world.
Middlesex have named the following squad of twelve for the match...
NAOMI DATTANI (CAPTAIN)