Back in the game
Hendy Group has returned as official shirt sponsor for Southern Vipers after a hugely successful partnership last season.
The automotive group backed the all-female cricket team in 2016, kitting the team out as it made a play for the inaugural Kia Women's Super League Cup. It proved a fruitful union, with the Vipers going on to win the title, and now Hendy has extended its support for a further year.
Commercial director Mark Busby visited the team at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl this week to hand over the shirts and wish the team luck for the new season.
"We're so proud of the team's success in the first ever Kia Women's Super League Cup," he said. "The Southern Vipers are proof that with hard work and the right support comes success and we're looking forward to helping them replicate that this coming season."
Captain Charlotte Edwards said: "We've had so much fun making Hendy proud over the last year and we're thrilled to work with them again this season. Having the support of local businesses like Hendy means we can really focus our attention on our training and, fingers crossed, winning the league again!"
As well as supporting the Southern Vipers through its sponsorship, Hendy Kia has been working with the team to inspire more women and girls to play cricket at all levels. Last year it held a special training session for local school pupils at the Ageas Bowl, where youngsters got the chance to play alongside the league-winning team. It hopes to run similar initiatives this year.
Mark added: "The Kia Super League has been set up to inspire more women and girls play cricket and that's something we are very pleased to support. As a company with a long association with supporting cricket we think it's a fantastic initiative."
The second season of the Kia Super League will see six teams taking part in a round-robin competition over a 17-day period and across 13 different venues from Thursday 10 August to Saturday 26 August. The competition will then climax in a showcase finals day on Friday 1 September at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.
The Kia Super League will be broadcast live on television and radio this summer with Sky Sports providing live coverage of six 'double-headers' alongside NatWest T20 Blast matches.