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Somerset Women, who are sponsored by Somerset County Sports for 2015, are hoping it will be third time lucky this year as they try to secure promotion to Division One of the County Championship.
In 2013 the promotion play off with Essex was rained off, thus denying Somerset the chance to win promotion whilst in 2014 Somerset lost to Warwickshire by just one wicket in the promotion play off.
This season former Somerset and Derbyshire fast bowler, Steffan Jones will be coaching the side.
The women recently had a pre-season training day in Bruton and the former County paceman was excited by what he saw: “I was really impressed by the work ethic and enthusiasm of the players,” he said. “The youth coaches have clearly done an excellent job because the athleticism of the younger players trying to break into the side is fantastic”
England International Anya Shrubsole will once again lead the side this year and is confident of going one better than previous years as she explained: “Despite the loss of a couple of key players we are hopeful of pushing for promotion again this year. We have signed South African international Lizelle Lee and are hopeful of a big season from her.”
Lizelle Lee is a middle order batter who has played 20 ODIs and 27 T20s for South Africa and was player of the match in her most recent ODI. Lizzelle scored 54 to help South Africa chase down Pakistan’s 153 and secure a 2-1 series victory for her country.
Also joining the women’s set up this year is Gwenan Davies (on loan from Wales) and Nicole Richards (from Cornwall) who will add some quality to an already talented squad.
The Somerset captain added “We know if we play at our best we are a very difficult team to beat so hopefully we will hit the ground running this year and finally get what we’ve finished agonisingly short of in the last two seasons – promotion!”
Another change for the women in 2015 will see them playing in coloured kit, sponsored by Somerset County Sports and using a white Kookaburra ball. The reason for the ECB initiated change is so that the domestic game mirrors the international game and helps develop players to play at the top level.
Somerset Women start their 2015 season with an away match against Staffordshire at Bloxwich on Sunday May 3rd, the day after which they host Ireland at Bath Cricket Club where play is due to start at 10am.