Scorchers on mis­sion to re­store their rep­u­ta­tions

The West Australian - - SPORT - MITCHELL WOODCOCK

As a new era of women’s cricket be­gins in Aus­tralia, Perth Scorchers are look­ing to re­turn to the glory of pre­vi­ous years by re­claim­ing a spot in the Big Bash League finals.

Af­ter mak­ing the fi­nal in sec­ond and third in­car­na­tions of the WBBL, the Scorchers missed the finals last sea­son.

The WA side is look­ing to re­turn to its best in the next se­ries, which will be played as a stand­alone com­pe­ti­tion from Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber, sep­a­rate from the men’s league for the first time.

The Scorchers will split their seven home games be­tween the WACA Ground and Lilac Hill, with Mel­bourne Rene­gades, Mel­bourne Stars, Ho­bart Hur­ri­canes, Syd­ney Thun­der and Syd­ney Six­ers head­ing west.

Scorchers star Ni­cole Bolton said the WBBL was now at a point where it could to stand by it­self.

“What bet­ter way to start the sum­mer than hav­ing the WBBL at the fore­front?” she said.

The 30-year-old said the Scorchers’ strug­gles in WBBL04 came from their in­con­sis­tency.

“Hope­fully we are go­ing to re­cruit well,” Bolton said.

“Our core group is pretty much the same, so we will be look­ing to start off the sea­son re­ally well.”

All-rounder Heather Gra­ham, 22, said last sea­son was a re­al­ity check for the Scorchers.

“All the other teams are step­ping up their games now,” she said.

“This sea­son is go­ing to be a re­ally big one for us.”

For many of the play­ers, WBBL05 will also serve as the per­fect lead-up to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup which will be held in Aus­tralia from Fe­bru­ary 21 to March 8.

Bolton, who played the last of her two in­ter­na­tional T20 games in 2016 but was part of the squad for the tri­umphant 2018 tour­na­ment, said the fix­tur­ing of the WBBL was ideal as it would be played in sim­i­lar con­di­tions with big crowds and star play­ers.

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