Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: Will defending champions Northern Diamonds sparkle again in 2023?

With the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy returning for its fourth edition on Saturday, here is a guide to defending champions Northern Diamonds plus the seven other sides looking to claim the silverware...

Northern Diamonds
Captain: Hollie Armitage
Head coach: Dani Hazell
2022 finish: Champions
2022 highest run-scorer: Lauren Winfield-Hill (470)

2022 highest wicket-taker: Linsey Smith (13)
Key winter moves: It's all change at Headingley, where the Diamonds have lost some significant experience in terms of Linsey Smith to Southern Vipers and Nat Sciver-Brunt to new Nottingham-based team Blaze. Also gone are the retired Jenny Gunn and Katherine Sciver-Brunt. Diamonds have signed batter Rebecca Duckworth from Thunder and, on the eve of the season, powerful South Africa all-rounder Chloe Tryon on an overseas deal until August. But mostly they have opted to make use of their fruitful Academy set-up.

The big question: The Diamonds are targeting not one trophy but two in 2023. They and the Southern Vipers have contested all three Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy finals so far, but the Diamonds haven't quite shown the consistency they'd like in the Charlotte Edwards Cup. They were beaten finalists in 2021 but failed to get out of their group last year. Is the double a realistic goal for the girls in royal blue?

What we're looking forward to seeing: Lauren Winfield-Hill said recently: "We're a different group, but we're stronger than we've ever been". That different group is much younger. England U19s duo Emma Marlow and Lizzie Scott contributed to success last year, as did Phoebe Turner and Jess Woolston - all academy products. Another, in seam bowling all-rounder Grace Hall, has since been elevated to senior ranks, and it will be fascinating to see whether their potential can translate into performance.