Sav­ille in­jury a blow for Strik­ers

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - LIZ WALSH

BIG hit­ting all-rounder Ta­batha Sav­ille is out of to­day’s open­ing Ade­laide Strik­ers WBBL game against Bris­bane Heat in Melbourne, with a ham­string in­jury.

Alice Springs prod­uct Sav­ille, 20, whose Big Bash per­for­mances last sea­son in­cluded Player of the Match ac­co­lades, pulled up with ham­string sore­ness fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal trial game on Thurs­day.

Strik­ers phys­io­ther­a­pist Jim Wilt­shire said Sav­ille’s scans were not as the team had hoped.

“We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor her and work with her to re­turn to full fit­ness as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said.

She was re­placed in the 13player trav­el­ling squad by fel­low all-rounder El­iza Dod­dridge, who was this week an­nounced as the fi­nal sign­ing in the side’s 15-player 2018/19 squad.

Sav­ille isn’t the only player ruled out of team se­lec­tion, with English im­port Danielle Hazell, un­able to play due to English Cricket Board reg­u­la­tions that stip­u­late a player must have seven days rest af­ter an in­ter­na­tional tour (Hazell played last Sun­day in Eng­land’s loss to Aus­tralia in the ICC T20 World Cup fi­nal).

Strik­ers coach An­drea McCauley said she un­der­stood the ECB’s de­ci­sion.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing from our point of view, but we cer­tainly un­der­stand the cir­cum­stances,” she said.

McCauley was also dis­ap­pointed by Sav­ille’s omis­sion.

“Ob­vi­ously, she’s an ex­cit­ing young player for us, with bat and we think she’s got a role to play with the ball this

“Hope­fully it’s only a short­term in­jury”

year, too,” she said.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing news for her.

“Hope­fully it’s only a short-term in­jury and she can be up and run­ning again next week, but we’re still wait­ing for the news.”

With Sav­ille and Hazell out of se­lec­tion, McCauley said de­cid­ing the start­ing XI would be tough.

“We’ve as­sem­bled a good squad and the young, lo­cal girls have all im­proved a lot and there’ll be a bit of a fight for a cou­ple of po­si­tions,” she said.

She said com­pe­ti­tion would be fierce to se­cure a bat­ting spot in the mid­dle or­der.

“And with­out (spin bowler) Dani Hazell, that’s four overs of bowl­ing that we’d be nor­mally be count­ing on, so some­one else gets an op­por­tu­nity with the ball too,” she said.

“Whether that’s a spin­ner, or some­one else who’s in the mix like a Kate­lyn Pope or Sam Betts or El­lie Fal­coner.

“El­iza Dod­dridge can bowl a medium pacer, so she’d be in the con­ver­sa­tion too.”

McCauley said the Strik­ers shaped up well against the Bris­bane Heat and were look­ing for­ward to get­ting their sea­son off to a good start.

“The girls are con­fi­dent,” she said.

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