Sophie and Claire relishing return

Sophie Luff and Claire Nicholas will be wearing green and black again this summer when they return to Western Storm for the 2019 KIA Super League.

Somerset Women’s captain Sophie has been with Western Storm since the introduction of the KSL and has scored over 150 runs for the team.

Claire, who plays her county cricket for Wales, has been an ever-present since signing in 2017, and in her two seasons with the Storm has taken 15 wickets with a best of three for 11.

Both players made vital contributions during 2017 as Western Storm lifted the KIA Super League title.

After signing for another season, Sophie: “I’m really excited to be back. Being involved with a West Country team makes it feel like home for me.

“We’ve got a great squad with some high-quality international players and we’ve also got some new faces who will bring some fresh energy. I’ve worked with some of the new players through the South West Regional Development Centre and it’s great to see that programmes like that are helping the girls break through at this level.

“It’s great to have a core group who have been with Western Storm since day one and I love representing the team. We all work hard for each other and it’s a special feeling when you’re all in it together.

“It would be great if we could be the team that reached Finals Day every year, and ultimately we want to be the only team to have won the KSL twice.”

Claire is also glad to be back. “I’m really pleased to be in the squad,” she said. “We’ve got some exciting young players coming through and I know that Trevor [Griffin, Western Storm Head Coach] really believes in giving young talent an opportunity. Those players can only learn from the experience.

“We gel so well as a squad and we’ve been quite consistent with the players who’ve been involved over the last few years. The coaching team seem to get the best out of us, and they know what makes us tick. We all play for each other and that shows during the tough games to get us over the line.”