Dani Hazell says she will be making her Northern Diamonds players available to start the summer in county cricket, admitting the short six-game programme is of high importance.
Yorkshire women will play half a dozen T20 fixtures against North East Warriors, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, a Northern Representative XI and Lancashire between April 18 and May 2 in the hope of qualifying for Finals Day on May 8.
“I will make sure all regional players are available,” Hazell confirmed shortly after the appointment of Mark Harrison as the new Yorkshire women’s coach was announced earlier today.
“Obviously we have to look at things like injuries and workloads, how much cricket some of the girls have been playing.
“But, for me, it’s invaluable at that time of the year for girls to have as much time in the middle as possible.
“You can practice all you like in the nets, but the pressure of a game situation is like nothing else.”
Clearly the availability of the Diamonds’ England players is surely going to be a non-starter given the World Cup in New Zealand runs through until April 3 and follows immediately on from the Ashes, which is currently ongoing.
But we can expect to see the likes of Hollie Armitage, Bess Heath, Katie Levick and Rachel Slater all wearing the White Rose prior to the start of regional action in mid-May.
Hazell has hailed the appointment of Harrison as Yorkshire coach.
Harrison has worked for five years in the county age-group system and has coached the women’s second eleven since 2019.
More recently, the level three qualified coach has assisted with the first-team and the Northern Diamonds Academy.
“I’ve known Mark for a little bit now,” Hazell said. “He’s got his own thoughts and ideas, but it all aligns with what we’re trying to with the Diamonds.
“It is really important we make sure we’re all on the same wavelength.
“We want to make sure there’s a nice transition between Yorkshire, through to the Academy with Courtney and up to the senior Diamonds squad.
“There’s absolutely no us and them. It’s very much about trying to make our region stronger and also England stronger.
“Mark’s a really bubbly guy. He’s had a real interest in the women’s game over the last few years.”
Hazell added: “County cricket is only a very small window, there’s only a few games.
“But it perhaps gives an opportunity to someone who has flown under the radar a bit to shine and be seen.
“That small window of cricket shouldn’t be underestimated. I will be taking a very close eye on how people go.”
YORKSHIRE WOMEN'S CCC FIXTURES
Monday 18 April – NE Warriors to host
10.30 NE Warriors V Yorkshire
13.30 Yorkshire V Cumbria
Sunday 24 April – Yorkshire to host
11.00 Yorkshire V Derbyshire
15.00 Yorkshire V Nottinghamshire
Saturday 30 April – Friendly 2 X T20 at Weetwood
Yorkshire V Leeds/Bradford University
Monday 2 May
11.00 Northern Rep team V Yorkshire
15.00 Lancashire V Yorkshire
Sunday 8 May – Lancashire to host