DURHAM County Cricket Board have announced a new women’s tournament that will launch next month.

The Super 4s will feature four teams drawn from the 49 best female players from Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland and Yorkshire, and has been designed to showcase the highest level of women’s grassroots cricket in the region.

The four teams have been named Hawks, Rockets, Panthers and Infernos, and will face each other for the first time on Sunday, June 3 at Norton Cricket Club, with the finals scheduled for Emirates Riverside on Sunday, July 8.

The Super 4s is the first non-club-based competition in the North, and will aim to strengthen the existing women’s structure.

Director of Cricket Development at Durham County Cricket Board, Graeme Weeks, said: “The incredible success we had at both the grassroots and elite level last summer predisposed for an opportunity to link the two levels of the game in order to strengthen our women’s pathway.

“It’s very exciting to be able to get this idea off the ground and to have the best players in the whole of the region on board with it. I am looking forward to seeing it all happen and I think that this competition will really showcase the progress we’ve made with the female game in recent years.”

Durham County Cricket Board have also revamped the Women’s T20 League in Durham this season and are about to launch a Women’s Soft Ball League alongside 13 soft ball cricket events at local cricket clubs where beginners can get involved in the sport.

Weeks said: “We feel like we have got the elite level and the club level of the game right, but we had nothing in between, so this is where the Super 4s comes in.

“I think that the competition will play a crucial role in making all our work in the female sport more sustainable.

“The tournament will bring further opportunities for players to compete and develop at a higher level and will help them progress as individual players outside their usual club environment. They can then take that experience back to their clubs and continue to improve the standard across the women’s structure.

“We have a strong selection for the debut year and I really hope that this competition grows to become one of the most renowned events in the cricket calendar.”