FAST bowler Ashlee King says WA is primed for the Under-18 National Championships in Canberra, starting Monday.
The 17-year-old quick, a Melville Cricket Club representative, said WA possessed a strong bowling attack, an experienced batting line-up and a great mix of leaders, including Western Fury bowler Sheldyn Cooper, top-order batter Rebecca West and captain Gemma Cassidy.
“Teams like Victoria and New South Wales are always strong but we’ve put in a lot of work so I think we can definitely put in a challenge,” she said.
King, a Hilbert resident, was one of 13 players selected from the state’s larger under-18 squad, which has been in training since July.
Nine members will return from last year’s Championships.
WA will play eight T20 matches and four 50-over matches across 11 days.
WACA development coach Orazio Santalucia said WA was prepared for a tough tournament.
“Throughout the pre-season every squad member had access to one-on-one coaching, as well as regular integration into the Fury program,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to seeing how our Fury players Rebecca West and Sheldyn Cooper perform after a pre-season in a professional environment, as well as our academy squad members Ashlee King, Georgie Middleton and Georgie Ireland who have had fantastic exposure to the state environment.
“Last season we won two matches and were competitive in a few others but I believe if we play to our potential this year this squad can be pushing for a top-four spot in both the T20 and 50 over competitions.”
King, one of the side’s younger players in previous years, said she hoped to play more of a leadership role and was targeting a tournament haul of 20 wickets.
It is hard to bet against her, considering the platform she has laid heading into the championships.
King has taken 12 wickets at 5.42 runs apiece playing across a number of divisions this season and is striking every 13 deliveries.
WA’s first game of the tournament is against NSW Metro on Monday.
WA Under-18 Female National Championship squad
Gemma Cassidy (c) (University CC)
Sheldyn Cooper (vc) (Midland-Guildford CC)
Zoe Britcliffe (South Perth CC/Port Hedland)
Georgia Ireland (Melville CC)
Ashlee King (Melville CC)
Emma Meuleman (South Perth CC)
Georgia Middleton (Melville CC),
Millie Monaghan (Subiaco Floreat/Wembley CC)
Sarah Patman (South Perth CC)
Samantha Quadrio (Subiaco Floreat/Wembley CC)
Chloe Wain (South Perth CC/South West)
Rebecca West (Melville CC)
Georgia Wyllie (South Perth CC)