by Sam Blackledge
A Plymouth cricketer has made it on to a list of 12 young talents chosen to train with Western Storm.
All-rounder Steph Hutchins, aged 18, plays for Yelverton Bohemians and Devon Women.
Taunton-based Western Storm, captained by England skipper Heather Knight, have chosen Steph in their development squad, along with her Devon teammates Daisy Meadowcroft and Evie Pitman.
Western Storm general manager Lisa Pagett said: “There are 12 girls on the programme and they have been selected from all across the region.
“There are players from Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wales in the squad and they have all been nominated by their respective counties as players of genuine potential.
“30 players were nominated from within the South West to attend a talent observation day where they were put through their paces by the Western Storm Coaches, under the watchful eye of ECB scouts.
“We consider the 12 players who have been selected on this programme to have real potential and moving forward could well develop in to cricketers who will play for the Western Storm or be involved in ECB programmes in the future.”
The year-long programme is not solely about cricket, Lisa says.
“As well numerous training days, which will be spread across the region to include the Cooper Associates County Ground, the Brightside County Ground and the University of Exeter, there are various other elements to the initiative in place in order to help these players to develop in the best way that they can,” she added.
“There will be strength and conditioning support, nutritional advice, plus work in to the psychology of the sport.
“It’s not just about them developing as cricketers, it’s about helping them to develop as people.
“There is much more to the programme than just playing cricket, it’s about helping to educate the players as well.”