Wednesday night marks the start of the WA Women’s Aboriginal
XI’s campaign at the 2017 National Indigenous Cricket Championships in Alice
WA will open their tournament against one of the powerhouse
teams in Northern Territory in a T20 fixture under lights at one of the NT’s
premier sporting grounds, Traeger Park.
Head coach of the WA Women’s Aboriginal XI Brian Shields
said the mix of talent has boosted WA’s chances of continuing to develop the
women’s pathway and putting in strong performances against some more established
"We’ve got a great young squad and we’ve actually retained a
lot of players from last year,” Shields said.
"We’ve also picked up some handy new players as well as some
players that have played in previous years but were unavailable for last year’s
championships for a variety of reasons such as work commitments and injury.
"There’s some great talent among this squad and some great
people and we’re looking forward to the competition starting.”
WA’s latest Aboriginal XI debutants Aggie Manel (University)
and Rikki Garlett (University) were
presented their playing tops by WACA Aboriginal Programs Coordinator Larry
Kickett in a pre-game presentation ahead of Wednesday’s match.
"They’ve fitted in perfectly and the girls have got around
them so we’re buzzing,” Shields said.
"The girls are ready to go. A lot of them have been playing
club cricket at University, which has been a great pathway that University and
the WACA has supported and helped align opportunities for females from
different country regions, along with our other established players from other
clubs such as Midland Guildford and so on.”
This year marks the fifth time WA has competed in the Women’s
Division, having claimed its only ever win in 2015, before missing out last
The entirety of WA’s squad has come through the state system,
including Emily Bowden, Samara Williams and Kavita Pepper who were part of last
year’s National Indigenous Team.
"Hopefully we can get a few more players in that national
team this year and get a few more wins on the board,” Shields said.
"I definitely think we can do it, we came close against Queensland
last year with a few decisions that didn’t go our way, but that’s cricket.
"We also gave Victoria a fair nudge too so I think we can
definitely challenge those two sides and with the talent we’ve got.
"We’ve got match winners so I’m excited to see how
the girls go and I honestly think they can beat anyone on their day.
"I believe that each year they’re getting better and better
and stronger and stronger and they’re tighter as a unit as well. I’m excited to
see how they go.
"It’s obviously a tough competition with NSW, Victoria and
the other states pretty strong, but I think we’ve definitely closed that gap up
each year we’ve come to Alice Springs so I’m looking forward to seeing how we
go this year.”
WA women’s squad: Allee Bartlett (University), Kirsty
Bennell (University), Emily Bowden (Midland-Guildford), Racquel Cross
(University), Shakiya Cross (University), Candice Franklin (University), Rikki Garlett
(University), Teleisha Hill (University), Katrina Jetta (University), Aggie
Manel (University), Dainira Papertalk (University), Kavita Pepper (University),
Samara Williams (University)
Coach: Brian Shields, Assistant Coach: Alan Singer, Team Manager:
Follow the NICC fixtures here