SOMERSET and Western Storm star Sophie Luff has outlined her disappointment with the ECB’s decision to scrap the Kia Super League from 2020.

An announcement last week revealed the men’s and women’s tournaments will be aligned under the new schedule, each playing a 100-ball format made up of 15 six-ball overs with a 10-ball over at the end of the innings.

That would mean the end of Western Storm, who play their home games in Taunton and Bristol and won last summer’s Super League.

Luff, who hails from Lympsham, said: “It [100-ball cricket] came as a surprise.

“I knew last summer that Western Storm wouldn’t last forever and we had heard 2019 would be our final year, which is disappointing as a lot of people have worked very hard to make Western Storm a success.

“Momentum within women’s cricket is growing. It was great having the World Cup here last year and seeing England win it, and it gave the Super League a real platform to build on.

“It will keep growing this summer - there are double the number of games, more double headers with men’s games and crowds will increase, so it seems a shame to can it after that.”

The news also means the country’s top women’s cricketers will be playing a different format in their primary domestic competition to internationally.

Luff said: “The Super League is a great platform for players like me who are looking to put our names out there for England, so a different format - even though it’s only 20 balls shorter - is a bit odd.”

Somerset CCC and Gloucestershire CCC released a joint statement on Sunday which re-affirmed their support for Western Storm and revealed the alignment “would be so only in structure and not necessarily in geography.”

Luff, who combines playing with a coaching role at the Somerset Cricket Board, is eager for matches to stay in the region beyond next summer.

“I’m biased but I love playing in Taunton,” she said.

“Smaller grounds suit us better - 3,000 spectators in Taunton can feel like a lot more with the atmosphere that’s generated, whereas it wouldn’t in a bigger ground.

“The Westcountry has done very well for women’s cricket - just look at Heather [Knight], who is from Devon, and Anya [Shrubsole], from Somerset, and what they have gone on to do for England.

“Hopefully there can still be matches in Taunton and Bristol even if the team itself is based in Cardiff.”

Domestic players in the men's game are also said to be uneasy about the proposed changes to the schedule.

A statement released by the Professional Cricketers' Association today (Wednesday) said: "The major concern of the players is around the lack of information and clarity regarding the new tournament.

"The future of domestic cricket as a whole was a lead topic with a fear the 50-over competition is being devalued with no clear pathway to one-day international cricket while there is apprehension on how the County Championship will fit into the structure.

"Restrictions on being released to play overseas is also an area the PCA will seek clarification on."

PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell, who was in action for Worcestershire in Taunton last weekend, said: “Over the past two months we have had face-to-face discussions with over 85% of the current playing membership and listened to issues that are directly affecting players.

“We have had extremely open conversations and listened to every viewpoint across the counties.

"These have all been recorded and we will be feeding these concerns into discussions and negotiations with the ECB over the coming months.

“There are a lot of questions which remain unanswered and this is becoming a concern to the membership."