Published: 25th June, 2020
South East Stars is the name for the teams representing the centre of excellence for women and girls’ cricket based in London and the South East of England.
The newly formed centre of excellence is one of eight across the country as part of the ECB’s plan to transform women and girls’ cricket, released in October 2019.
The South East Stars will work in partnership with Surrey County Cricket Club and Kent County Cricket Club. Surrey will act as the ‘regional host’ while The County Ground in Beckenham will be the regional performance centre.
Former Surrey Head Coach Richard Bedbrook is the Regional Director of Women’s Cricket for the South East Stars and ultimately responsible for both the elite teams and the pathway in the region.
Covid 19 means the match programme for 2020 is currently unclear but it is expected that from 2021 onwards, the elite team will play the other regional sides in both 50 over and 20 over cricket.
South East Stars home matches will take place at grounds in both counties of Surrey and Kent, while Surrey are regarded as the ‘regional host’.
The programme is also designed to give professional contracts to up to 40 players outside of those that receive ECB central contracts. The first four players to receive professional contracts at South East Stars are Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant and Bryony Smith.
All four players have played international cricket for England. Davidson-Richards and Farrant play their county cricket for Kent while Dunkley and Smith are Surrey players.
In terms of the remainder of the squad, discussions are ongoing amongst players and coaches and this will be announced in due course.
You can hear Richard Bedbrook’s thoughts on the programme by watching the below video.
What about women’s county cricket?
Women’s county cricket will continue and there will continue to be a side that represents Surrey and wears the Three Feathers on their shirts. This will remain an amateur game.
Hannah Jones is the Surrey Women captain and Tom Lister, Bedbrook’s assistant at Surrey Women, is the Surrey Head Coach.
While it is still to be decided how many fixtures Surrey Women will play each season, they were scheduled to play a full T20 programme and a London Cup match against local rivals Middlesex in 2020.
Is this separate from the women’s Hundred competition?
Yes. County cricket, the regional game and the women’s Hundred are all different formats of the women’s domestic game. Surrey Women, Kent Women, South East Stars and Oval Invincibles are all separate entities.