Worcestershire Women Rapids have taken a further step forward in their development by forming a second eleven for the first time for the 2016 campaign.

The second team will help to bridge the gap between players ending their involvement at Under-17 level and the senior squad and provide valuable match experience.

It will increase the depth of players capable of challenging for a first team spot and put pressure on those in the senior side to perform.

Jason Yip, Women and Girls' Development Officer with Worcestershire Cricket Board, said: "For the first time ever we will have a second eleven as well.

"The new second eleven helps us build our depth and also creates some meaning for the girls exiting out of the Under-17s programme.

"Traditionally counties, if they are anxious for playing numbers, will go and raid players in the 15-17 age groups and play kids way out of their experience range and before their natural time to launch onto the premier stage.

"The second eleven is open to our performance programme over the winter and those girls who don't make the core 14 for the first team.

"But it also puts performance pressure on that core 14 senior squad.

"It is really there to increase our depth and continue their playing pathway and to give people opportunities to challenge whenever the 'lightbulb' moment comes along."

Yip is delighted with the quality of the senior squad.

He said: "It is quite exciting young group. We've got a good mix of mid 20s and some youngsters who are just turning 18 and emotionally development wise that is spot on.

"This year we've had record levels in terms of girls participating in high performance programmes.

"We are taking the identified best out of the 15s and 17s plus about 20 in our winter training squad for senior women over the age of 17.

"That second eleven will be made up of those girls getting an opportunity plus fringe players who are looking to further cement their roles in the first eleven.

"You might have a youngster who only bowls two or three overs at senior county level but she is on the cusp of breaking through so you give her more overs in the second eleven to develop."