Western Australia women could name up to five debutants for its opening game of the Women’s National Cricket League after releasing its 14-player squad for this weekend’s double-header in Brisbane.
Young guns Molly Healy, Sheldyn Cooper and Meg Thompson have travelled with the team for games against Queensland and Tasmania, with the trio coming through the WA Female Cricket Pathway.
Talented batter Ashley Day and experienced wicketkeeper Emma Inglis could also play their first games for WA after crossing from Tasmania and Victoria respectively.
Coach Lisa Keightley said it was great to be gearing up for their first games of the new campaign.
“The team has worked really hard over the winter months and we can’t wait to get stuck into this first challenge,” she said.
“It’s exciting to have a few new faces within the program. Molly Healy has moved through our female pathway and is an exciting prospect for the future of WA cricket.
“Ashley Day has settled into the squad really well, she is a talented batter and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can produce for us throughout the season.
“We’ll be working hard to get a couple of wins early in this new extended WNCL format, which will help set us up for the back end of the season.”
New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine returns for her second stint and will provide plenty of experience at the top of the batting order alongside Nicole Bolton.
Captain Chloe Piparo said the side’s balance of experience and youth would put them in good stead for the first round of matches.
“Getting away as a group is always a great experience and to have that time with the new players in the squad will be fantastic,” she said.
“Playing Queensland and Tasmania will be a great test first up, we’ll be looking to turn the tables from our last round of WNCL last year where both sides got the better of us.
“I think we match up on paper really well and I’m confident that we’ve put in the preparation to be able to perform against both sides this weekend.”
WA Women’s WNCL Squad: Chloe Piparo (C), Megan Banting, Nicole Bolton, Piepa Cleary, Sheldyn Cooper (new), Ashley Day (new), Sophie Devine, Amy Edgar, Molly Healy (new), Kathleen Hempenstall, Emma Inglis (new), Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Meg Thompson (new).