Scheduled to begin in 2016, the Women’s Super League is aiming to support greater participation, and encourage higher levels of performance in the women’s game.

The importance of the competition has not been lost on Gloucestershire who have taken the step of partnering with their great rivals Somerset, reflective of the passion all parties involved in the bid share for developing women’s cricket further.

The University of Exeter is already a leading centre for women’s cricket and the hopes are to use the University as a centre of excellence for coaching and training whilst the Bristol and Taunton County Grounds will become the two primary home venues for matches.

Gloucestershire Chief Executive Will Brown said: “This is a hugely exciting moment for cricket in the South West of England and one we are all immensely proud to be part of. Both Gloucestershire and Somerset have a great and growing track record in developing Women and Girls cricket through their County Boards and the recent women’s Ashes series shows that there is massive popularity amongst spectators too. The University of Exeter and their involvement with cricket in Devon will also be key, providing a fantastic training base for players in a truly South West bid.

“We believe there is a very compelling case for a South West franchise in the Women’s Cricket Super League which will allow us to develop talent and create a performance programme in the region that will feed directly into the England Women’s team.”

A decision is expected by the end of January 2016.