Yorkshire women to join top tier in 2026 after appeal to ECB

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 01/05/2024 - Cricket - The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy - Northern Diamonds v The Blaze - North Marine Road, Scarborough, England - The Diamonds huddle prior to taking to the field against the Blaze.Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 01/05/2024 - Cricket - The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy - Northern Diamonds v The Blaze - North Marine Road, Scarborough, England - The Diamonds huddle prior to taking to the field against the Blaze.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 01/05/2024 - Cricket - The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy - Northern Diamonds v The Blaze - North Marine Road, Scarborough, England - The Diamonds huddle prior to taking to the field against the Blaze.
Yorkshire will have their own women’s team for the 2026 season after an appeal to the ECB.

The Headingley club had missed out on being named a Tier 1 club in April – losing out to Durham – but appealed to the game’s governing body against the decision.

Yorkshire were told they would have to wait until 2027 to join an expanded women’s league.

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But on Tuesday, the ECB board issued a statement saying the White Rose county would become a Tier 1 club for 2026.

Tier 1 will launch next season with eight clubs, expand to nine for 2026 , and will expa nd again to 10 clubs in 2027 when Glamorgan join.

Yorkshire’s funding for 2026 will increase to £1.5m per year, and their introduction to Tier 1 is contingent on adhering to various conditions, concentrating on governance, strategy and finance.

ECB director of w omen’s professional game Beth Barrett-Wild said: “We talked in April about the strength of the bids brought to the ECB and about the pace with which we all want the game to progress to the next level.

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“Yorkshire’s desire to be part of Tier 1 as soon as possible is clear, and we believe it’s the best decision for them, the women’s game, and most importantly for the players as they enter a phase of contract negotiation, to provide as much certainty as we can about the introduction timeline for both Yorkshire and Glamorgan.

“As Yorkshire are existing regional hosts they are starting from a different position to Glamorgan, who we think will benefit from having two years between 2025-2027 to develop their talent pathway across Wales and experience running a women’s senior team in Tier 2. This extra lead-in time will therefore enable them to establish a solid platform from which to build a competitive Tier 1 team and proposition in due course.”