As the Tasmanian Tigers head into the 2023-24 Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) season, the reigning champions will be aiming to secure a third consecutive title.
With a number of teams already locking in their squads for the upcoming season, the Tigers head coach Jude Coleman spoke to the media about her side’s ambitious goal of going for the three-peat.
“We’d be lying if we said it wasn’t [our goal].” Coleman said.
With Coleman appointed as the side’s new head coach last November, the former Australian cricketer was confident that her side would be able to complete a third title in a row.
“We’ve kept our core group of players, and added some new exciting talent as well. So I think we’d definitely be in a great position to go three in a row.”
Whilst significant player movement has already occurred during the off-season, Coleman emphasised the goal of going three-for-three as a reason the Tigers were able to keep the majority of the squad from the previous season.
“It’s never easy when there’s money involved. But this group is a really connected group, and I think when you buy into a goal like three in a row, I think it’s certainly easier to get people to sign on the dotted line,” Coleman explained.
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The Tigers suffered a significant loss through Sarah Coyte‘s move to NSW, as well as the loss of Maisy Gibson and Emma Thompson. However, they made major moves to bolster their squad ahead of the new WNCL season.
South African top-order batter Lizelle Lee joins the squad on a full contract, following her impressive on-field performances last season. The international signing will be looking to make continued contributions to the Tigers after finishing as the competitions third-highest run scorer with 559 at 50.81. Coleman said that Lee is “a great addition” and that she “obviously performs well on the field”.
Following an extended break from cricket, 25-year-old Tabatha Saville will make her return to elite cricket after signing with the Tigers. Joining Saville is off-spinner Lauren Smith who joins the Tigers after just missing out on a contract with NSW.
Local NSW young gun Beth Lane is also a new addition to the side and will help in terms of the side having a leg-spinner, something which Coleman says is an “integral part of the women’s game”.
When asked about what it means to have a full pre-season under her belt with the Tigers, the incoming new head coach was enthusiastic about her first campaign.
“I can’t wait,” Coleman said.
“You know, it was great to jump in at any time in the season to a successful team like the Tigers. But I just can’t wait to have a full season, particularly a hurricane season. [I] haven’t been involved in one of them.
“But yeah, I’m just really excited to see what we can do this year.”
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