A 14-strong Abode Hotels ACT Meteors squad has been announced ahead of the side’s upcoming Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) matches against NSW and Victoria.

With 47 days passing since playing their first game of the season due to COVID-19 impacts, the Meteors are set to play NSW at North Sydney Oval on Tuesday February 22 in a day/night fixture before travelling to Junction Oval to play Victoria on Friday February 25.

Meteors captain Ange Reakes is a notable omission from the squad due to personal reasons, while Madeline Penna and Matilda Lugg have also been ruled out due to injury.

In Reakes absence, vice-captain Erica Kershaw will step into the captain’s role, supported by vice-captains Carly Leeson and Katie Mack. Alisha Bates, Grace Lyons, and Annie Wikman are new additions to the side and in contention to make their WNCL debuts.

ACT Meteors Head Coach Jono Dean said, “Two years now we have trained for a very long time between matches with a lot of unknown around our fixtures so it’s great to get some certainty,” Dean said.

“We have a few key outs with Ange (Reakes), Tilly (Lugg) and Maddie (Penna) all unavailable which is disappointing after they have put so much hard work into their preparations. The silver lining is this creates a great opportunity for others to showcase their talents.

“Alisha (Bates) came into our program off contract this year, a young left arm orthodox and left hand bat looking for an opportunity. She has worked so hard and been a bundle of laughs for everyone.

“Annie (Wikman) is another who has come in from outside the program, a batting all-rounder who impressed during a practise match with her all-round cricket skills and athleticism while Grace (Lyons) is a young pathway keeper who has been part of our Meteors Development squad for a couple of years now. She is an awesome talent and a wonderful kid. She comes in as back up keeper for round 2 and will gain enormous experience from being a part of this squad.”

ACT Meteors Athletic Performance and SSSM Manager Michael Barrington commented on the injuries to Penna and Lugg.

“Madeline (Penna) underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery earlier this month which has ruled her out of the remaining WNCL season. Maddie has commenced rehabilitation with the Cricket ACT Sports Science Sport Medicine (SSSM) team and will continue to work through this over the coming months,” Barrington said.

“Matilda (Lugg) has also been ruled out of the remainder of the 2021/22 WNCL after scans revealed a high grade stress reaction in her femur. Matilda will now commence a thorough rehabilitation process.

“Obviously this is very disappointing for both athletes and we will continue to support both Maddie and Matilda throughout all aspects of their recovery.” 

All WNCL fixtures in 2021/22 will be streamed live via cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.

The Meteors have dedicated their final seven rounds of the WNCL to raising funds for Lifeline Canberra and to shine a light on mental health within their community. Donations can be made via the Meteors gofundraise page, with all donations going directly to Lifeline Canberra.

Upcoming Match Details

22 February 2021 | NSW v ACT | North Sydney Oval, NSW | 2.00pm AEDT | Entry is free

25 February 2021 | VIC v ACT | Junction Oval, VIC | 10.00am AEDT | Entry is free

R2& R3 Abode Hotels ACT Meteors Squad vs NSW Breakers/Victoria

Erica Kershaw (C)

Carly Leeson (VC)

Katie Mack (VC)

Zoe Cooke

Nicola Hancock

Grace Lyons (vs NSW) Kayla Burton (vs VIC)

Alisha Bates

Erin Osborne

Annie Wikman

Olivia Porter

Rebecca Carter

Gabby Sutcliffe

Amy Yates

Chloe Rafferty