Friday, June 14, 2024

Cricket Ireland: The three Evoke Super Series captain’s share their views

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Photo Credit: Sportsfile

Ahead of the start of the Evoke Super Series, the three team captains were talking about the squads, who we should look out for in 2024 and the progress being made in the women’s game.

The Dragons have had a change in leadership in 2024 with Amy Hunter replacing Leah Paul in the captaincy chair.

I’m excited to have been asked to take on the captaincy this year – it’s a role I’ve enjoyed lately with the Under-19s squad. The Dragons are a great group of girls, so I can’t wait to get into the competition.

For players to look out for, there is obviously the likes of Orla Prendergast, Arlene Kelly and Cara Murray, but looking beyond the senior players I’d say that Abbi Harrison is one player with a lot of potential.

Emily Calvert, too, has a great deal of potential and has been showing it at CSNI of late.

The change in recent years for the Dragons to be a focal point for girls playing in the North West and NCU has been massively important. To be able to show players in the North that there is a pathway and to play games up here to show the standard will only be a positive for the women’s game.

Moving from the Dragons back to the current T20 Trophy champions, the Scorchers, Leah Paul will lead the team in orange in 2024. She said:

I like the challenge of captaincy, as it enables me to develop the tactical side of my game. I have learnt a lot over the past two years captaining the Dragons, so hopefully I can transfer that knowledge and experience over to my new role in the Scorchers.

The Scorchers have a really nice balance of youth and experience this year. As stand outs, it is hard to look past Gaby Lewis and the runs she has scored across both formats in the Super Series over the past few years. But I think Alice Tector’s ability with the new ball is extremely exciting to see at her age, and Aimee Maguire’s left arm spin has gone from strength to strength over the last few years – she is definitely one to watch for the Scorchers this season.

A great addition this year are the seven overseas players that have joined the teams. The inclusion of this overseas cohort adds a bit of variety to the competition, and allows developing players the opportunity to challenge themselves against players and skill sets they may not be used to facing here.

The 50-over Cup defending champions, the Typhoons, will once again be led by Rebecca Stokell. She said:

We are quietly confident that we can win the Cup again, but it’s going to be a very competitive campaign with three quite evenly matched squads. The Typhoons have an all-round squad, with players covering all bases – and we also got some new younger players that I’m excited to see what they can do at this level.

Annabel Squires is definitely someone to watch out for this year. After her successful Under-19s World Cup last year I think she’ll be a key batter in our top order.

Likewise, I feel Sinead Thompson will be another to watch out for. She’s extremely talented for how young she is and with her left arm seamers, it’s something different that people don’t face often. I am hoping she’ll be a key wicket-taker for us and may get the opportunity to take the new ball, so it’ll be exciting to see how she goes.

In terms of our new head coach, Liam [Foulkes] has settled in quite quickly and I think he’ll be great for a young squad like ours. I think it’s going to be refreshing to have a new voice and some new ideas brought to the group and hopefully we can all learn from him.

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