2020 saw the start of a new era for women’s cricket and also for Western Storm.
After four incredibly successful years in the KSL, Western Storm were named as one of the eight regional centres for women’s cricket who would compete in the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy.
With no overseas superstars available and the England Internationals only able to feature in the opening two fixtures the onus has been on the regions to unearth the very best local talent.
Western Storm has always had a strong South West and Wales identity and this year has been no different with the squad featuring players from all across the region.
This year Western Storm features no fewer than five players from the Somerset Women squad in the form of Sophie Luff, Lauren Filer, Nat Wraith, Georgia Hennessy and Niamh Holland.
Who better to give us an insight into the Somerset players in the Storm squad than Sophie, who just happens to be the captain of both teams.
“It’s great to see so many Somerset players in the Western Storm squad this year,” she said. “Credit for that has to go to the Somerset Pathway because three of us have come through that programme from a very young age. Somerset had a successful T20 campaign last year with a very young squad who were exposed to a high level of cricket and now we’ve seen them make that step up again this year.
“Lauren is a fast and aggressive bowler, which is something that you don’t see all that often in the women’s game. She can get it down there at good pace and she’s a real threat with the ball. She’s opened the bowling for Storm in the last couple of games and got a few key wickets.
“I’ve played with Lauren for a number of years and she’s worked really hard on her bowling. She’s involved at England training squad level and was signed by Welsh Fire ahead of this summer. She knows she still has some work to do, but the future is definitely bright for her.”
“Nat came through the ranks at Gloucestershire and joined Somerset last season, playing a big part in our successful T20 campaign. It was a pleasure to bat with her against the Vipers at the weekend and she showed exactly what she’s capable of. She’s an exciting and attacking batter who’s got all the shots. She’s very strong off the back foot, picks up length really quickly and bowlers need to be really wary of her.
“She’s taken the gloves for Storm this year too and she’s been superb behind the stumps. It’s a big ask to take over from someone like Rachel Priest but Nat is a real talent and has shown just what she’s capable of in this tournament.”
“I’m so pleased that she’s back in the Storm fold. She’ll be the first to tell you that she’s had a bit of a bumpy ride in the past, so to see how she’s performing now in a Storm shirt is really pleasing. To have someone like her in the squad who offers both skills exceptionally well is great for me as a captain. I know that I can throw her the ball at any point in the innings and you can usually rely on her to get you a score with the bat as well.
“I think she fell out of love with the game a little bit a few years ago, so to see her back working so hard and doing the business is great.”
“Although she’s only 15, she’s definitely got something about her. She can take the game by the scruff of the neck and nothing seems to phase her. I feel that I could ask her to do anything with the bat or the ball and she would go out there and give it her all.
“She’s been exceptional in the field this year too. She’s been out on the boundary and doing plenty of running but she’s loving every minute of it.
“To be involved in a tournament of this standard at 15 will hopefully mean that she learns a lot, and I’m sure that she is embracing every opportunity. I think she has a very bright future ahead of her and she keeps reminding me that I’ve got a good 11 years on her! She’s great to have around the squad and I’m sure she’s learned a lot this summer.”Back to News