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Preview: Central Sparks vs The Blaze (Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy)

Central Sparks host The Blaze in an all-midlands season opener at Edgbaston Stadium in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy on Saturday.


Match details:


Game: Central Sparks vs The Blaze

Start time: 10:30am

Location: Edgbaston Stadium

Competition: Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy


Lloyd Tennant’s side host Chris Guest’s Blaze at Edgbaston in a return to action as the 2024 women’s regional season commences with 50 over action.


Saturday’s opponents reached the final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last year but were defeated by the Southern Vipers. The most recent meeting between the two sides ended in a three-wicket win for the side from the East Midlands.


Heading into the contest, Tennant and his Sparks team will look to put a winter full of hard work into practice and start the season with a bang at home.


Tickets for the all-midlands clash can be found and purchased here!


The Opposition:

Since rebranding in 2021 to become The Blaze, Guest’s team have been a consistent team in the women’s regional setup. In 2023, they reached both finals [Charlotte Edwards Cup, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy]. Based at Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge, Blaze holds a host of international players with the likes of Nat Sciver-Brunt in the ranks.


Former Sparks players Marie Kelly and Sarah Glenn currently play for Saturday’s opponents, while Sparks’ Abbey Freeborn and Bethan Ellis used to play for the Blaze when they were known as Loughborough Lightning.


South African Nadine De Klerk will rejoin Guest’s side as their overseas for the second year running. Heather Graham will link up with Blaze in June & July for a shorter spell as an overseas player.


Past meeting:

The sides met three teams during the 2023 season, each meeting being won by Blaze. The most recent game, at Saturday’s venue, was a meeting of two strong outfits who were battling for a place in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy play-offs.


Team news:

Both sides will be announcing squads on Friday.


How to watch:

If you haven’t got a ticket for Saturday’s season opener, you can watch the match on our live stream, which will be available via Sparks’ YouTube channel.



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