The Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit will have a number of new faces and a new captain this season with the 16-player squad confirmed for the upcoming season by Cricket Victoria today.
With Meg Lanning expected to be sidelined for an extended period following shoulder surgery, veteran spinner Kristen Beams will captain the team, with Molly Strano taking on the vice-captain role.
Gemma Triscari, Nicole Faltum, Rhiann O’Donnell, Chloe Rafferty, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck and Georgia Wareham headline the list of newcomers to the squad, while last year’s debutants Makinley Blows, Hayleigh Brennan, Alana King and Sophie Molineux have also been named to return for their second season.
Former Western Australian Fury fast-bowler Triscari has joined the VicSpirit after impressing in the last two seasons for the Melbourne Stars, taking 13 wickets in each season.
Faltum is an impressive right-hand batter and wicketkeeper who has represented Victoria at all pathway levels. Her form last season earned her a rookie contract with the Melbourne Renegades, as well as being named in the Cricket Australia Under-18 Female Talent Squad.
O’Donnell, a right-hand bat, has similarly played her way through the Victorian high performance pathway and impressed at Under-15 and Under-18 National Championships.
Medium-fast bowler Rafferty has been a dominant force in Premier Cricket for Essendon Maribyrnong Park alongside fellow Victorians Kristen Beams and Molly Strano, and has subsequently earned a contract with the VicSpirit.
Sutherland made her debut for the Melbourne Renegades in the Rebel WBBL last season at just 15 years of age, and has represented Victoria and the Cricket Australia XI at National Championships in recent years.
Vlaeminck and Wareham were also part of the Melbourne Renegades squad in the WBBL last season, and will look to continue their development alongside Victoria’s best.
Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit Head Coach David Hemp wished Lanning well in her recovery and said the playing group was keen to take the next step after narrowly missing finals in recent seasons
“We wish Meg all the best in her rehabilitation from surgery and look forward to her returning to action. Kristen and Molly will be a terrific leadership unit this season and will make an important contribution to our success,” Hemp said.
“We’ve had a few changes this season and we wanted to give some of our young players an opportunity to learn from experienced players. The new players have been performing consistently well through the pathway and we want to reward that.”
“I believe this group has what it takes to compete strongly in the WNCL, and I know they’re all itching to get back on the park and win the title for Victoria.”
Five players from last year’s squad list – Jess Cameron, Emma Kearney, Kirsty Lamb, Hayley Jensen and Sarah Elliott (retired) were not retained for the upcoming WNCL season.
Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit 2017-18 playing list:
Kristen Beams (Captain)
Molly Strano (Vice-Captain)