Sophie Luff to lead Western Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy

Sophie Luff to lead Western Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy

Sophie Luff in action for Western Storm. © Getty Images

Western Storm, the South West and Wales-based team, announced a 14-member squad for the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy set to kick off on August 29. The squad was announced on Monday (August 24).

Somerset’s Sophie Luff will captain the side in the competition. She represented Western Storm in the now defunct Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL). Fi Morris and Danielle Gibson, other two players who received regional retainer contracts from will join her in the squad. Claire Nicholas, who took 12 wickets for Storm in the last season of WCSL, is also part of the squad.

Storm is grouped along with South East Stars, Southern Vipers and Sunrisers. They will face South East Stars in Beckenham on the opening day of the tournament.

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“Training has been going well and the players have been outstanding. The majority of the squad are taken from the region and we believe that’s really important. To be able to pick from the best of the talent from across the whole of the South West and Wales is extremely exciting,” said head coach Mark O’Leary.

“This is a new era and a new competition, but Western Storm has a distinct identity of fielding players who care deeply about this region. That’s really important because Western Storm had such a great fanbase which we hope will remain in place because that genuinely inspires the players.”

“We want to promote home-grown players and we want girls to see that Western Storm can provide a route for them to achieve their goals. We want to give young players something to aspire to.”

“We have a young squad, but I think that the majority of the teams are in the same position. I’ve done an awful lot of scouting and I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality that is available in the region. I’m excited to see how this group will develop,” O’Leary added.

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Lisa Pagett, regional director of South West and Wales region, called the squad a right mix of experience and youth. “I’m really excited by the squad we have put together. There’s a great blend of senior players mixed in with some really exciting young talent from across the region,” she said.

“It’s obviously been a challenging phase for lots of different reasons, and in an ideal world we would have had a bit longer to have seen players in action. However, having seen the group train together and witnessed how quickly they have progressed in a very short space of time leaves me in no doubt that we have the right group of players to be competitive in the Rachel Heyhoe-Flint Trophy.”

Squad: Sophie Luff, Fi Morris, Danielle Gibson, Claire Nicholas, Alex Griffiths, Georgia Hennessy, Natasha Wraith, Lauren Filer, Steph Hutchins, Lauren Parfitt, Emily Edgcombe, Niamh Holland, Emma Corney, Abbie Whybrow.