Australia leg-spinner Kristen Beams will lead a new-look Victoria in this year’s National Women’s Cricket League.
With regular captain Meg Lanning sidelined for up to eight months after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit have turned to Australian teammate Beams to lead the side in 2017-18, assisted by vice-captain Molly Strano.
She’ll be in charge of a new-look team, which has signed seven new players and bid farewell to five in addition to the absence of Lanning.
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Joining the Spirit is former Western Australia pace bowler Gemma Triscari, who has spent two seasons with the Melbourne Stars in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, as well as WBBL|02 Renegades listed players Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck and Georgia Wareham.
They’re joined by fellow newcomers Nicole Faltum, a wicketkeeper who has represented her state at all pathway levels, right-hand batter Rhiann O’Donnell and medium-pacer Chloe Rafferty, who has impressed in Premier Cricket.
Former Australian batter Jess Cameron heads the departures, alongside Emma Kearney, Kristy Lamb, Hayley Jensen (who has moved to the ACT Meteors) and the retired Sarah Elliot.
Kearney and Lamb will remain involved with Victoria as part of a 'Futures' training squad as they juggle dual-code commitments, while the pair - and Cameron - are all expected to feature in WBBL|03.
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"We wish Meg all the best in her rehabilitation from surgery and look forward to her returning to action,” Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit Head Coach David Hemp said.
"Kristen and Molly will be a terrific leadership unit this season and will make an important contribution to our success.
"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."
VicSpirit squad: Kristen Beams (Australian contracted) (c), Makinley Blows, Hayleigh Brennan, Nicole Faltum, Emma Inglis, Alana King, Meg Lanning (Australian contracted), Anna Lanning, Sophie Molineux, Rhiann O’Donnell, Chloe Rafferty, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Gemma Triscari, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Series
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT