Northern Diamonds: Katie Levick hails increase in Charlotte Edwards Cup matches game-changer

NORTHERN DIAMONDS’ Katie Levick believes the increase to 10 group games in the Charlotte Edwards Cup is another important step in the right direction for the women’s game in England.

Next season sees the Diamonds start with an eye-catching clash against arch-rivals Thunder at Durham in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy on Saturday, April 20.

But it is the increase in T20 fixtures which is the most eye-catching thing about next year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Charlotte Edwards Cup has been increased from seven group games to 10 and will feature a Finals Day including two semi-finals and a final. For the first three years of the competition, only three teams have qualified for that showpiece occasion.

The Diamonds will play every region once and Thunder, Blaze and Central Sparks – their closest rivals geographically – twice.

Leg-spinner Levick is the Diamonds squad representative with the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) and thus gets involved in discussions about improvements and progression within the regional game.

“It’s something we’ve been pushing towards, and it’s actually been more of an emphasis than the pro contracts,” explained Levick. “We want the set-up to be in a good place before all of the regions go fully professional.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We want the building blocks in place; a good fixture list, coaching staffs, strength and conditioning, facilities – all these things. This is another important step towards that.

LOOKING FORWARDS: Northern Diamonds' leg-spinner, Katie Levick Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comLOOKING FORWARDS: Northern Diamonds' leg-spinner, Katie Levick Picture by Allan McKenzie/
LOOKING FORWARDS: Northern Diamonds' leg-spinner, Katie Levick Picture by Allan McKenzie/

“We want to play more teams twice because we want to play the first game, see how it goes, build on it and come back again a few weeks later. That’s the real test.

“It’s the cricket we’ve grown up watching on the men’s side and it’s something we’ve really wanted.

“Other things come into effect, like when you play certain teams. Do they lose their England players?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Sometimes it felt like your season could be determined by how your fixtures fell. That’s something you don’t want in pro sport. You want it based purely on performance, and this makes it more of a level playing field.”

Levick now feels that the regional format is in ideal shape.

“It’s in a great place,” she added. “It’s light-years away from where it was, and it’s been brilliant to see that the growth is there year on year.

“The standard of cricket has never been better at domestic level. You saw that last year with different teams getting to finals.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On the season opener against Thunder, who will officially be known as Lancashire Thunder in 2024, Levick said: “It may not be the traditional Yorkshire-Lancashire rivalry, but Diamonds v Thunder is definitely a big northern derby.

“It should certainly get people fired up to want to kick our season off with a bang.

“It will be a good test because Thunder have just had a good year after some tough results historically.

“We have Rebecca Duckworth and Sophia Turner on this side now, so it will be a big one for them because you always want to put in a performance against your old team to show them what they’re missing.”

For the full 2024 Northern Diamonds fixture schedule, log on to