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Kia Super League 2019: All you need to know

The Kia Super League returns bigger and better than ever before

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Kia Super League 2019: All you need to know

Surrey Stars - winners of the 2018 Kia Super League

The Kia Super League is back and it’s bigger than ever before. This will be the fourth year of the competition with Surrey Stars aiming to defend their title.

Find out all the fixtures below, how you can catch the games if you can’t make it in person, and assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side.

The only question left: who’s going to win it? 

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WATCH: Lizelle Lee smashes 104 off 58 balls in Kia Super League final

Lizelle Lee scored a brilliant century with 19 boundaries for Surrey Stars in the Kia Super League final

The full Kia Super League fixture list can be found here and you can listen to commentary of selected games on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC local radio.

Below are all the games live on Sky Sports: 

Yorkshire Diamonds v Surrey Stars - 6 August

Western Storm v Lancashire Thunder - 10 August

Surrey Stars v Southern Vipers - 12 August

Western Storm v Loughborough Lightning - 13 August

Lancashire Thunder v Loughborough Lightning - 20 August

Southern Vipers v Yorkshire Diamonds - 21 August

Finals Day - 1 September 

Western Storm 

Coach: Long-serving Trevor Griffin, who guided Storm to the title in 2017, is back for another season after returning from a winter spent working Down Under with Sydney Thunder.

Captain: England World Cup winning skipper and top-order batsman Heather Knight will lead the side for a fourth season. Knight is one of the most consistent performers in KIA Super League cricket.

Overseas signings: Smriti Mandhana (India), Rachel Priest (New Zealand), Deepti Sharma (India) 

The Star: Smriti Mandhana, the brilliant India opening bat, has enjoyed another prolific winter playing for Hobart Hurricanes in the Women's Big Bash League in Australia. Having been named ICC women's cricketer of the year for 2018, the 23-year-old from Mumbai scored the fastest 50 in T20 international history from just 24 balls in February and arrives back in the West in peak form.

Consistent performer: Awarded a central contract by the ECB earlier this year, fast bowler Freya Davies has played every match for Western Storm since the inception of KSL in 2016.

Killer stat: Currently the most prolific batter in the world, Smriti Mandhana has amassed 1,951 runs in 50 one-day internationals for India at an average of 42.41.

Western Storm players huddle

Western Storm players huddle

Lancashire Thunder 

Coach: Mark McInnes stepped up from his assistant role to take over the head coach position this week after former Australia captain Alex Blackwell took up a job offer from a Sydney hospital.

Captain: England fast bowler Kate Cross takes over from Danielle Hazell, who has retired and will coach arch-rivals Yorkshire Diamonds this summer. Talisman Cross, 27, is closing in on 40 appearances for England across all formats.

Overseas signings: Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Sune Luus (South Africa), Tahlia McGrath (Australia).

The Star: Sophie Ecclestone, the England spinner, was named as the ICC’s Emerging Player of the Year for 2018. Now an international regular across all formats, the Chester-born left-armer claimed 15 wickets in last season’s Super League - the third best haul by any bowler.

Consistent performer: Alex Hartley, an England one-day World Cup winner in 2017, returned home to Lancashire colours from Surrey Stars last season and claimed 10 wickets

Killer stat: Harmanpreet Kaur is only 90 runs away from reaching 2,000 career runs in T20 internationals. Only seven other players have achieved that feat, including England duo past and present Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor.

Lancashire Thunder players celebrate

Lancashire Thunder players celebrate

Loughborough Lightning 

Coach: Rob Taylor - a left-arm seamer and a capable batsman, Taylor made 100 appearances in county cricket for Leicestershire and 68 in international cricket for Scotland.

Captain: Georgia Elwiss - an experienced all-rounder with more than 50 England caps to her name, the 28-year-old fast-medium bowler and middle-order batter has been Lightning's captain since the launch of KSL in 2016. 

Overseas signings: Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu, young top-order batter Hayley Matthews of the West Indies and South Africa duo Mignon du Preez and Shabnim Ismael.

Home Stars: England trio Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon and Jenny Gunn give serious strength to the Lightning line-up.

Loughborough Lightning

Loughborough Lightning

Southern Vipers 

Coach: Nick Denning. The former Berkshire coach has been in charge of Vipers since 2016, having previously coached in Hampshire’s youth system.

Captain: Tammy Beaumont takes over the reins for the first time and comes into the tournament in decent form, having hit her maiden Ashes hundred in the recent ODI series against Australia.

Overseas signings: The hugely experienced New Zealand all-rounder Suzie Bates returns for her fourth KSL campaign with the Vipers. She is joined by Australian all-rounder Sophie Molineux and Stafanie Taylor, the brilliant West Indies all-rounder.

The Star: Bates has been at the top of the world game for more than a decade now. She made her New Zealand debut in 2006 and the 31-year-old has gone on to score more than 7,400 international runs and taken 123 wickets.

Consistent performer: Tash Farrant, the left-arm seamer who played for England last year, took only the second hat-trick in KSL history in the defeat to Lancashire Thunder.

Killer stat: Vipers will use three different venues for home games this season, more than any other team. As well as Ageas Bowl, which hosts three fixtures they will also play at Hove and Arundel.

Tammy Beaumont bats for Southern Vipers

Tammy Beaumont bats for Southern Vipers

Surrey Stars 

Coach: Richard Bedbrook. The 41-year-old has been in charge of Surrey’s KSL team since its inception in 2016 and is also responsible for coaching the county’s age-group teams.

Captain: Nat Sciver. The England all-rounder, 26, broke into international cricket on the back of some impressive county performances for Surrey in 2013. She has gone on to play 131 times for her county across all formats.

Overseas signings: South African trio Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk return for another season with Stars.

The Star: Lizelle Lee has the power to clear the ropes regularly as she demonstrated in last year’s final when she hit six sixes. The 27-year-old arrives in decent form having struck three half-centuries in South Africa’s T20 series against Pakistan in May. 

Consistent performer: Hard to look beyond captain Sciver, who continues to deliver all-round skills.  She was Surrey’s top scorer last season with 362 runs and also took 10 wickets.

Killer stat: Surrey are the masters of the late run. They won just one of their first five games in 2018 before winning their last four including two on Finals Day.

Surrey Stars huddle

Surrey Stars huddle

Yorkshire Diamonds  

Coach: Danielle Hazell - An England World Cup winner in 2017 who has returned to Yorkshire colours but as head coach.

Captain: Lauren Winfield - Experienced opening bat who has skippered the Diamonds in each of the three previous KSL campaigns.

Overseas signings: Alyssa Healy (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), Jemimah Rodrigues (India).

The Star: Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy gets her first taste of the Super League and will open the batting with Winfield. Fresh from an Ashes victory, she was the player of the tournament and highest run-scorer with 225 at last winter’s World T20 in the Caribbean.

Consistent performer: Sheffield-born leg-spinner Katie Levick has been a part of the Diamonds squad since the start of the KSL in 2016 and has taken 21 wickets in 18 appearances. 

Killer stat: Ashes rivals Katherine Brunt and Alyssa Healy have a combined total of international appearances across all formats of 370.

Yorkshire Diamonds huddle

Yorkshire Diamonds huddle

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