Whilst the world of cricket is temporarily on standby, with no one quite knowing when normal business will be resumed, both Middlesex Cricket and Jersey Cricket have been busy behind the scenes, agreeing the terms of a long-term strategic partnership to increase opportunities for talented female cricketers.
The partnership will enable both organisations to harness their combined expertise and resources, to create innovative programmes that push the boundaries of female cricket talent development. The partnership underlines the ambitions of both organisations to expose players and support staff to new environments, further enabling both Middlesex Cricket and Jersey Cricket to deliver high-quality talent development programmes for local women and girls.
Today's announcement is the culmination of months of work that both organisations have put into developing this partnership and whilst the current coronavirus pandemic has applied the brakes for any plans to launch the partnership immediately, it certainly hasn't dampened the collective enthusiasm to push ahead when cricketing life returns to some form of normality.
Initial plans, prior to the current crisis, were for Jersey, ranked number 37 in the ICC T20I rankings, to tour in England in late May, train with the Middlesex Women's side, and play three T20 matches at Mill Hill School. Reciprocally, Middlesex Women had plans to run training camps over in Jersey.
Speaking of the new partnership, Danni Warren, Head of Women's Cricket for Middlesex commented:
"It is really exciting to be working with Jersey Cricket.
"Having discussed our respective visions in depth, it was obvious that we share a lot of common aspirations, making this partnership the natural next step.
"It had been planned that Jersey Women would visit Middlesex at the end of May, combining the opportunity for them to train as a group in new environments with a number of matches between the two sides. Despite this being postponed due to the current COVID-19 situation we are committed to facilitating similar opportunities for both of our playing groups going forward.
"As a coaching staff we cannot wait to explore further projects, all of which will provide our players with new and innovative developmental opportunities."
Lee Meloy, Youth Performance Manager and Women's Head Coach at Jersey Cricket Board, added:
"We are delighted to announce this partnership with Middlesex Cricket and look forward to the opportunities ahead.
"Having spoken with Danni, it's clear both sides are focused on long-term development and growth of the game whilst looking to provide our talented players with new experiences. Our pre-season tour would have been a great way to kick- start this but circumstances out of our control have meant plans have had to be put on ice for now.
"Looking at the bigger picture; it's a very exciting time for Women's cricket. To be able to work closely with such a well-established organisation will undoubtedly leave a legacy for our female cricketers".