South Australian Scorpions batter Courtney Webb (Picture: SACA, Design by Madeline Irwin)

Taking a gamble on a young all-rounder from Tasmania a few seasons ago, Luke Williams offered a now-star Scorpion, Courtney Webb, a chance that she could not resist.

Coming over to join the South Australian Scorpions as a 21-year-old, Webb had shown potential but had not yet risen to the heights that were expected. Two years later she looms as a player to watch in the WNCL final on Saturday against her former side.

Webb was awarded the WNCL Player of the Year on Friday, truly putting the exclamation point on top of her rise in the game.

The Inner Sanctum spoke exclusively to Courtney Webb about her decision to join the Scorpions, her season in 2022/23 and her maiden WNCL century.

Having made her WNCL debut for her home state of Tasmania in the 2017/18 season, Webb looked like a likely prospect offering higher order batting, a right arm medium pace option as well as her elite fielding ability.

Declining an offer to sign on with the Tigers ahead of the 2020/21 season, Webb was eager to see whether she could make the most of an opportunity that Scorpions head coach Luke Williams had made.

“[He] just really believed in me and I’m not sure why,” Webb explained.

“I was actually looking at my stats the other day and I think I averaged about eight or nine [runs] in my 10 or 11 games for Tassie and he was willing to give me the opportunity to bat [at] four for South Australia off not much [form] at all.

“I’m super grateful that he’s brought me over here and given me that opportunity to cement my spot as a number four batter for South Australia.”

Having a frustrating season for the Melbourne Renegades in the WBBL ahead of her return to South Australia for WNCL 2021/22, Webb looked to right the wrongs of her form slump. Using the WNCL season to atone, she did so with aplomb, taking home the McCauley medal while notching up the most runs.

Scoring four half-centuries and a top-score of 88 runs in the WNCL final, Webb reflects on the stellar season that was in 2021/22.

“My Big Bash tournament, I wasn’t overly pleased with. I was a bit injured and struggled to get any consistency,” she said.

“[Coming back] to South Australia, I’ve worked really hard with not just the cricket coaches but the performance mindset coaches and our sports psychologists to make sure I was just getting back to my best self both physically and mentally for what was going to be a big WNCL.

“[We were] going to be on the road most of the tournament, I think it was a month or so away where we were in Sydney, all the way down to Melbourne and then Tassie. I was pretty happy with how I was able to go and obviously we made it all the way to the final, which was cool but hopefully we do one better this year.”

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This WNCL season has been another strong one for Webb with her maiden century at the top of the highlights. In January, it was her first ton in the competition, after nine half-centuries, that helped seal victory over the NSW Breakers which saw her rise as one of the most in-form batters.

“It was a good feeling and it was really nice to bring it up,” Webb said.

“It has been on my mind a little bit to try and get there but with the circumstances of the game I just had snuck it in [because] Jemma (Barsby) finished off with a quick 20-odd [runs].

“That was really good, to personally get that [milestone] but the win was more important to keep us undefeated, [however I was] really happy to finally be able to take the helmet off [in celebration], I worked hard for that one so I’m pretty proud.”

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