WESTERN Storm will be playing five home matches at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton this coming summer, the first of which is against South East Stars on May 1 in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint 50 Trophy, starting at 10.30am.

This is followed three weeks later with a home match against Central Sparks in the Charlotte Edwards Cup (T20), starting at 2.30pm.

On Friday, May 31, Storm host Sunrisers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup (T20) competition starting at 3pm in a double header fixture that will be followed by Somerset against Essex in the Vitality Blast T20.

Western Storm are next in Taunton on August 26 when they face Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, starting at 10.30am, while their final scheduled match is against Thunder on September 7 in the same competition, also starting at 10.30 am.

Somerset cricketer Sophie Luff, who skippers Western Storm, has been one of the driving forces in establishing and developing the women’s game in the county. She is currently playing Grade cricket in Australia for Parramatta for the second year running

The top order batter grew up playing men's cricket for her home village Lympsham in the Somerset Cricket League alongside dad Dave and brother Jack.

Sophie said: “Having the opportunity to play overseas during the winter shows how far the women’s game has come. Full time contracts mean that we’re professional cricketers all year round. Ultimately, our job is to just play cricket and although you can do plenty of work in the nets, you want to be out there playing the game, scoring runs and taking wickets.

“These sorts of opportunities are really important for the young girls coming into the game now. The world is their oyster because the franchise scene is getting bigger and bigger and that brings more opportunities to play abroad during the winter - and that’s massive. The chance to experience different conditions and environments really can help take a player’s game to the next level.”

Sophie talked about the mood in the Western Storm camp ahead of the 2024 season. "The group are as tight as I’ve ever known us and morale is really good and there’s a great atmosphere in the dressing room. The girls have really knuckled down this winter and hopefully we can hit the ground running this summer. We just need a couple of wins and the confidence boost that will come from that will help to make this group believe that we’re good enough and belong at that level. We’ve also got a great group of staff who play a huge role within what we do. It really is a great group to be a part of.”

Sophie seems to be making the most of her time in Oz and to date has appeared in three 50 over matches and scored over 120 runs at an average of 40.67.