Squad Analysis: South East Stars name their Squad for Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

This week promises to be an exciting week for women’s cricket with the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy beginning on August 29th. The Women’s tournament is named after former England captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Baroness Heyhoe-Flint, who died in 2017.

 

South East Stars Squad for Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
South East Stars Squad for Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. PC: Twitter

 

The tournament will comprise of 8 teams, pooled into two groups, competing in a series of one-day matches to be played between 29th August to 19th September. The top team from each group will advance to the finals to be played on 26th September to determine the overall winner of the tournament. The one-off tournament is expected to provide much-needed match practice to England domestic players after the suspension of cricket for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two groups are named ‘North Group’ and ‘South Group’ and include the following teams:

North Group: Central Sparks, Lightning, Northern Diamonds and Thunder
South Group: South East Stars, Southern Vipers, Sunrisers and Western Storm

The South East Stars, representing Surrey and Kent, have named their 15-strong squad for this tournament. Following players will represent South East Stars in the competition:

Megan Belt (Kent)

Megan Belt was a key spinner in Kent’s limited-overs side. She was a consistent wicket-taker and claimed 14 wickets in her last 8 one-day matches at the domestic level. Her performance included as many as 3 three-for. At just 22 years of age, she can only grow with experience and will hope to gain as much experience as she can in this tournament.

Maxine Blythin (Kent)

Maxine Blythin came to the limelight as the first transgender to play the women’s game. An opening batter for Kent, she created headlines for winning the Kent Women’s Player of the Year award as she scored the third-highest runs on her debut season. Her strong physique and tall height mean a few advantages and she used that to score 165 runs in 7 matches, including a half-century. It is heartening to know that the region supported her and gave her a chance to play for the region.

Tash Farrant (Kent)

Aged 22, Tash Farrant is one of the few players in the tournament to play for the national side. She may have represented England in only a single ODI but she has also played 14 T20Is taking 11 wickets. She made her debut for Kent in 2012, aged 16, and was also selected for England Under 19s. A fast bowler, she was generally bowling quicker than her male counterparts in school cricket. Her last appearance was in the Kia Super League in 2019 where she picked up 14 wickets from 10 games, becoming the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Her experience with England will only help her as she captains her side in this tournament.

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Grace Gibbs (Surrey)

Grace Gibbs is a right-handed batter who played with Surrey Stars in the 2018 and 2019 edition of Kia Super League. Her only notable performance so far was a half-century outside the tournament when her side played against England Development Squad in 2019. She has also picked up 5 wickets in the last 10 outings, which means that she can bowl when asked to. She will look to better her record in this tournament.

Eva Gray (Surrey)

Eva Gray has been representing Surrey in the domestic setup and plays as a bowler. Gray’s seam bowling is a key component for the Surrey Women in the county game. She still does not have much to show at this stage and will hope to do well in this tournament to gain some valuable experience.

Danielle Gregory (Surrey)

Playing as a spinner for Surrey, Danielle Gregory became a fixture for Surrey Women in 2018, claiming an incredible 4 wickets for 7 runs against Kent Women in just her third appearance. Her returns have tapered off since then and she will hope to get back the form in this tournament.

Hannah Jones (Surrey)

Aged just 21 years, Hannah Jones is a capable all-rounder and has shown that since her start at the domestic level. She has picked up 9 wickets in her last 6 one-day appearances and has also played a handy knock of 39 not out against Warwickshire last year. She was included in the Surrey Stars side in the Kia Super League last year in which she got to play only 2 games. She claimed 3 wickets in the only game in which she has bowled. She will hope to use this opportunity to showcase her skills again as she gets ready for the next phase of her career.

Susie Rowe (Kent)

Susie Rowe is an international cricketer. She played for the Kent Women cricket team between 2004 and 2012 before moving to the Surrey Women cricket team in the 2014 season. A right-handed batsman and right-arm medium-pace bowler, she toured Sri Lanka with the England women’s team in 2010 and made her Twenty20 International debut in Columbo on 19 November 2010. She made her one-day international debut against Australia at Perth on 9 January 2010, a match England won by 7 wickets. She has played 22 T20Is scoring 126 runs. The last time she played at any level was 2015 and she hopes to make a strong comeback in this tournament.

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Rhianna Southby (Kent)

Playing as a wicket-keeper for Surrey, Rhianna Southby has had a very quiet career so far. She has become a key member of the Surrey team and has represented Surrey Stars and England academy sides as well. She featured in the Surrey stars side in the Kia Super League last year but played only 2 games. She will look forward to getting more opportunities in this tournament.

Kirstie White (Surrey)

One of the longest-serving players across the entire women’s game, Kirstie White is known and feared as a high-quality opening batter. In her last 10 outings for Surrey, she has scored 294 runs hitting 3 half-centuries. She will be a key player that will determine the fortunes of this side in the competition.

Amy Gordon (Surrey)

Despite still being just 18, all-rounder Amy Gordon has been a regular in the Surrey Women side since 2016. The all-rounder, who bowls right-arm medium pace, has featured for several England Women’s Academy sides in her fledgling career. She featured in the Kia Super League in 2019 with minimal returns. She will look to make the most out of this opportunity.

Phoebe Franklin (Kent)

Phoebe Franklin has been in the domestic circuit since 2017 and has been representing Kent’s one-day side as a batter. However, her returns have not been significant and she has a chance to reverse it in this competition.

Aylish Cranstone (Surrey)

Batting at number three, 25-year old Aylish Cranstone scored 316 runs for Surrey’s county side across 50 over and T20 cricket last summer. Although she tended to come in lower down the order in last year’s Kia Super League, her runs at the end of the innings proved crucial.

Chloe Brewer and Alice Capsey round up the South East Stars squad.

Speaking on the announcement, Regional Director of Women’s Cricket Richard Bedbrook said: “With Alice, Sophia & Bryony potentially away with England for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, it was important we got the balance of the core 15 right. I feel we’ve done that with this squad and I’ve been fortunate there are so many talented players at both Surrey & Kent to work with.”

The South East Stars will play the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy opener against Western Storm at Beckenham on 29th August.

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