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Albany duo to step up for WA

Albany’s two State representatives in the WA Country XI women’s team are expected to play key roles with the ball at the Toyota Australian Country Cricket Championships which start next month in Shepparton.

Royals’ Hannah Felton and North County’s Bonnie Crook have been included in the 14-player squad for the annual tournament having impressed new coach, former Western Fury stalwart Angele Gray.

The championships in Victoria will be Felton’s second tour having debuted in the historic first ever WA women’s side in Mt Gambier in 2016.

Now 19, the right-arm seamer will be joined by 18-year-old Crook, who will compete in her third consecutive championships after debuting in Wollongong in 2017 and playing earlier this year in Geraldton.

In her first year as coach, Gray said she was excited by the squad assembled and expected both Albany products to play important roles with the ball.

“Hannah possesses this ability with clearly a physically strong action to be able to bowl outswing at pace,” she said. “She will play a leadership role with the ball for us.

“I am pretty excited about her prospects for the tour. She is a bit older now so her role will be more prominent.

“Bonnie has impressed as she is able to bowl inswing and any bowler regardless of pace who can move the ball consistently becomes a great asset.

“She brings lots of enthusiasm.”

Gray said assembling a squad in a State the size of WA had been a challenge but she had been busy visiting regional areas to identify talent and provide coaching support to the players.

WA Country has only won two matches in the past three championships but Gray said the squad would be aiming for a maiden finals appearance.

“It has been a focus to identify the talent in regional WA and boost the development of those players,” she said.

“Making the semis will be the first priority, if we can do that it will be a good tournament.”

The women’s team begin their campaign on January 5.

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