Wraith wins spot at Storm

Gloucestershire Women’s keeper-batsman Natasha Wraith has been named in the Western Storm South West Regional Development Programme Squad.

The 16-year-old, who plays for Frenchay, is one of 15 players chosen for the programme – which aims to help players progress to 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.

Wraith’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 the under-15s – including two centuries.

Wraith 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.

She also cemented her place in the Gloucestershire Women’s side that won their Twenty20 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.

Steve Dent, Gloucestershire Women’s coach, said Wraith thoroughly deserved her inclusion in the squad for the second year in a row.

He said: “I am delighted for Nat. I sometimes think she doesn’t realise how good she is.

“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 in the Western Storm development programme.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.