WESTERN Storm have announced their playing squad for the 2020 season, with Somerset cricketer Sophie Luff named as captain.

Luff, who hails from Lympsham, captains Somerset’s women’s team and is a two-time Kia Super League winner with the Storm, heads a 14-strong squad that features four other Somerset players.

Lauren Filer, Georgia Hennessy, Niamh Holland and Nat Wraith are included alongside Luff, as well as players from Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Wales.

Holland is a Wellington School pupil, while Filer plays her club cricket for Weston-super-Mare.

The Storm are one of eight regional centres for elite women’s cricket, this year competing against each other for the honour of lifting the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy.

Their first match is against South East Stars this coming Saturday, August 29, and their first home fixture (at Bristol's County Ground) pits them against Southern Vipers on Monday, August 31.

Mark O’Leary, who was this week named as Western Storm’s full-time head coach, commented: “Training has been going well and the players have been outstanding.

“The majority of the squad are from the region - we believe that’s really important.

“To be able to pick from the best of the talent from across the whole of the South West and Wales is extremely exciting.

“This is a new era and a new competition, but Western Storm has a distinct identity of fielding players who care deeply about this region.

“That’s really important because Western Storm had such a great fanbase, which we hope will remain in place because that genuinely inspires the players.”

He added: “We want to promote home-grown players and we want girls to see that Western Storm can provide a route for them to achieve their goals.

“We want to give young players something to aspire to.

“I’ve done an awful lot of scouting and I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality that is available in the region.”

Western Storm squad
Sophie Luff (Somerset, captain), Fi Morris (Hampshire, vice-captain), Emma Corney (Devon), Emily Edgcombe (Cornwall), Lauren Filer (Somerset), Danielle Gibson (Wales), Alex Griffiths (Wales), Georgia Hennessy (Somerset), Niamh Holland (Somerset), Steph Hutchins (Devon), Claire Nicholas (Wales), Lauren Parfitt (Wales), Abbie Whybrow (Gloucestershire), Nat Wraith (Somerset).

Western Storm fixtures
Sat, Aug 29: South East Stars (away)
Mon, Aug 31: Southern Vipers (home)
Sat, Sep 5: Sunrisers (away)
Fri, Sep 11: South East Stars (home)
Sun, Sep 13: Southern Vipers (away)
Sat, Sep 19: Sunrisers (home)