Nicole Faltum is just 22 years old herself but is set to lead a young Melbourne Stars lineup for WBBL|08 with Meg Lanning set to miss the tournament for personal reasons.
Faltum comes into WBBL|08 having played 53 games, batting 20 times with a high score in 20 runs across those matches. It's not the most enticing numbers in the world but it's with the gloves that her game goes to another level.
Faltum is well regarded as one of the best keepers in Australia and if she can improve her batting, the sky is the limit. Recently she has shown some of that improvement with a half-century in Victoria's recent loss to Tasmania in the WNCL.
Speaking to the media on Monday morning, it was clear that Faltum is excited by the opportunities given to her.
"I’m super excited, to be honest, and it’s an exciting role and to be able to lead this group with some young talent so I’m super excited," she said.
"We’ve got some fresh faces coming and our internationals, [a] new coach and [I'm] looking forward to seeing what they can offer.
"It’s always nice to spend some time in the middle and as a batter, you want to spend some time out there. I guess that’s the same kind of thing I’m looking forward to in the Big Bash."
Alongside Faltum for the Stars - and an up-and-coming leader herself - is Annabel Sutherland. Largely known as a bowler at the international level, Sutherland showed off her batting skills, recently making a century alongside Faltum for Victoria.
"Batting is always something I’ve been looking to work on as an all-rounder. The Aussie group is so hard to break into so I’ve been bowling more," Sutherland said.
"Any time you get time out in the middle is good, I’ve been lucky to spend some time in the middle. I’m really excited to get going and my prep has been really good.
"But happy I’ve been able to capitalize on some opportunity over the last week."
Alongside the two young leaders will be the English international Alice Capsey who has been the talk of the cricketing world over recent months, bursting onto the scene.
At just 18 years of age, she did almost everything for England last season. From dominating in The Hundred to playing both ODI and T20 cricket for her country, as well as batting at the specialist position of number three.
She averages 33.42 with the bat in T20I cricket as well as striking at 128 which is an opportune scoring rate for the WBBL. If Capsey can put together a good season for the Stars, we could see her in Australia for the next two decades.
She is also someone that Sutherland is very excited to play with after sharing a dressing room in The Hundred for the Oval Invincibles.
"She is obviously young but it doesn’t seem to phase her which is a good thing. You want players that can take the game on and aren’t afraid to make mistakes, so we are really excited to see what she has to offer", Sutherland mentioned.
The Melbourne Stars are set to fly out to Mackay on Tuesday before then playing a practice game ahead of their first game of WBBL|08 against the Brisbane Heat at Harrup Park on Saturday, October 15 from 7.05pm ADT.
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