Tigers have named a 16-member squad for the weekend matches with Villani at the helm. The 32-year-old was the player of the tournament for scoring a whopping 611 runs from nine matches at an average of 87.28 with three centuries and two fifties in the 2020-21 season. Her runs came at a strike rate of 84.62 and her 135 not out against New South Wales Breakers helped Victoria to an eight wicket win in their opening fixture.
Off-spinner Molly Strano will be the other prominent name in the squad having made the decision to move to Tasmania from Victoria alongside Villani. She was the leading wicket taker with 14 wickets to her name during the last edition. Her scalps came at a frugal average of 14. 42. Tigers will be hoping that having the highest run-getter and the leading wicket-taker from the previous season will help them to start their campaign on a high.
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Apart from these two, former Australia international Sarah Coyte, allrounders Nicola Carey, Heather Graham, pacer Belinda Vakarewa and former New Zealand wicket-keeper Rachel Priest are part of the Tigers’ squad.
Batter Corinne Hall is out with calf injury and pacer Hayley Silver-Holmes is unavailable due to a hip injury. From the squad, Chloe Abel, Maddi Brooks, Clare Scott will be making their debut along with Strano and Villani if they are picked in the playing XI.
Tasmania Tigers squad: Elyse Villani (c), Chloe Abel, Maddison Brooks, Nicola Carey, Sarah Coyte, Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest, Clare Scott, Amy Smith, Emily Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Belinda Vakarewa