[lead]Gloucestershire Women’s wicketkeeper/batsman Natasha Wraith has been named in the Western Storm South West Regional Development Programme Squad.[/lead]
The 16-year-old, who plays for Frenchay, is one of 15 players chosen for the programme – which aims to help players progress onto the England Academy and play in the Kia Super League in the future.
The squad will meet up for regular training days during the winter and will feature in pre-season fixtures against women’s county teams from around the South West.
Nat’s selection comes off the back of a stellar 2017 which saw her impress for Gloucestershire’s under 15, 17 and senior women’s sides. As well as excelling behind the stumps, the Winterbourne International Academy student made 500 runs at an average of 63 for Glos under 15s – including two hundreds. She was also the top scorer for the under 17s and was named player of the year in both age groups. Despite being the youngest member of the squad Nat also cemented her place in the Gloucestershire Women’s side that won their T20 league and narrowly missed out on promotion in the County Championship last year.
The development squad will be coached by many of the same coaches who work with reigning Kia Super League champions Western Storm. They include head coach Trevor Griffin, pace bowling specialist Ben Phillips and members of their backroom staff. Former Western Storm Head Coach and World Cup winner Caroline Foster will also be part of the coaching team.
Gloucestershire Women’s coach Steve Dent said the Nat thoroughly deserved her inclusion in the squad for the second year in a row.
He said: “[blockquote size=”full|half|third|fourth|two-thirds|three-fourths” align=”left|center|right” byline=”Steve Dent” rating=”0|1|2|3|4|5″]I am delighted for Nat. She has an endearing naivety about her, in that I sometimes think she doesn’t realise how good she is. However this masks a real determination to improve. She is a highly talented cricketer both as a ‘keeper and a batsman and there is a lot more still to come from her.
“She is great to work with as a coach because she is very good at evaluating her own game without ever getting too down on herself. I am sure she will benefit hugely from being involved I the Western Storm development programme.”[/blockquote]
Western Storm general manager Lisa Pagett – who also works for the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) said: she hoped Nat and other members of the development squad may be able to emulate Gloucestershire allrounder Danielle Gibson who won a place in the full Storm squad last year.
She said: “Danielle Gibson is a great example of a player that has transitioned from the Development Programme to earn a Kia Super League contract with the full Western Storm Squad for the 2017 season and we hope that others follow in her footsteps.
“The South West Regional Development Programme is a really important part of the work we do. We are fortunate to have a brilliant team working on the programme, fusing together coaches working with the full Western Storm squad and coaches with extensive knowledge and experience of girls’ county cricket across the South West.”
Western Storm South West Regional Development Programme Squad
Olivia Churcher (Devon)
Amber Cummins (Cornwall)
Emily Dibble (Somerset)
Emily Edgcombe (Devon)
Lauren Filer (Somerset)
Sophie Florides (Devon)
Alex Griffith (Wales)
Rebecca Halliday (Devon)
Steph Hutchins (Devon)
Daisy Meadowcroft (Devon)
Ellie Mitchell (Cornwall)
Georgia Parfitt (Wales)
Charlotte Scarborough (Wales)
Sophie Thomas (Wales)
Nat Wraith (Gloucestershire)