Heather Knight to lead Western Storm

Heather Knight played an important role in Western Storm's victory over Loughborough. ©Getty Images

Heather Knight will lead Western Storm in the final edition of the Women’s Cricket Super League beginning in August. The franchise announced the full squad on Friday (July 5).

Knight will be joined by England teammates Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson and Freya Davies. Smriti Mandhana,  Player of the Tournament in he previous edition, and Deepti Sharma, her India team mate are the other international representaitves. Rachel Priest, former New Zealand wicket-keeper will be back for her fourth season.

Danielle Gibson and Ellie Mitchell, currently part of the England Academy squad, Sophie Luff, Claire Nicholas, Naomi Dattani and Amara Carr return to the franchise for another season. Sonia Odedra, who previously played for Loughborough Lightning, and Alex Griffiths, who has been part of Storm’s pathway program, complete the squad.

“We are really excited by this group of players. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that we have a really good blend of youth and experience, but that is something that we genuinely have,” said Trevor Griffen, head coach of Western Storm, soon after the announcement. “To be able to welcome our England players back is great and obviously the return of Smriti and Rachel is brilliant for us. Deepti will certainly bring something different whilst I’m looking forward to seeing how Dani and Ellie will develop during the competition.”

“The squad has a great balance and we can’t wait to start working with the players again. To have seven players in the group who have been with us since the KSL started is really important because continuity of selection is vital in any winning team.

“It also shows how successful our pathway is. Danielle, Ellie and Alex have all worked their way through the South West Regional Development Centre, so a huge amount of credit has to go to everyone involved with that program.”

Storm, who won the 2017 edition of the tournament, hold the unique record of having qualified for Finals Day every year so far. They will begin their campaign against Loughborough Lightning on August 6.

Full squad: Heather Knight (captain), Anya Shrubsole, Fran Wilson, Freya Davies, Smriti Mandhana, Rachel Priest, Deepti Sharma , Danielle Gibson, Ellie Mitchell, Claire Nicholas, Sophie Luff, Naomi Dattani, Amara Carr, Sonia Odedra, Alex Griffiths