Cricket Ireland have announced some tweaks to the Super Series ahead of a 2021 season that will see the Ireland Women side playing in two vital qualifying tournaments.
As in 2020 there will be only two sides competing, holders Typhoons and the Scorchers, down from three sides in previous years due to the expectation that there will be no overseas players available due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
The number of 50-over fixtures remains at eight, with the season getting under way on April 25th.
The series will help Ireland prepare for the 50-over World Cup qualifiers which are due to be held in Sri Lanka from June 22nd to July 11th.
2020 Super Series winners Typhoons: Pic Rodney Smyth
Unlike 2020, there will be four T20 games in the Super Series between July 25th and August 15th to help prepare for the European T20 World Cup qualifiers in Scotland during the last week of August.
While 12 games in 2021 represents an increase on an abbreviated 2020 season, it's 25% less games than the three team hybrid competition of normal times.
Venues for the games have yet to be confirmed, but the plan is that two matches will be played in the North to help grow the game. Cricket Ireland have in a new initiative created new coaching hubs with increased coaching contact hours.
“Building on the improvements made in 2020, we feel we are moving this competition further towards its intended vision," said Richard Holdsworth.
"Creating an opportunity for our strongest players to perform within a competitive, best v best professional environment, providing an opportunity for players with potential to develop skills that are needed at international level, and experiencing being part of a more professional environment – thereby, preparing them for the possibility of being included in our performance or academy squads.”
Ireland and Typhoons captain Laura Delany: Pic by Rodney Smythe
There is no news yet of any international fixtures for Ireland Women, who haven't played a 50-over game since June 13th 2018 - 974 days ago, while their last action of any kind was a T20 in Scotland in September 2019.
There had been talk that they would end their 523 day drought with a series this April in La Manga, but with time running out, nothing has been finalised.
Confirming opposition for the Girls in Green has been a major challenge for the administration, exacerbated by the current pandemic.
Let us hope that a solution is found ahead of this crucial qualifying year.