Morris welcomes return West

Former Gloucestershire young cricketer Fi Morris is happy to be back playing the game in the West of England after a stint with Southern Vipers.

The 26-year-old offbreak bowler grew up playing with Gloucestershire Women and was part of Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s Emerging Player Programme as a teenager.

“I grew up playing my cricket at the Bristol County Ground and I live and work in Bristol. When Lisa Pagett called me about joining Western Storm, it just felt right going back home and back to where I grew up playing.” Fi said.

“Luffy (Sophie Luff) is around my age so we grew up playing against each other at age group level. She played for Somerset while I played for Gloucestershire so there was always a bit of a rivalry, but it will be good to be on the same side as her.”

Last year, Fi took 5 wickets in 20 overs for Southern Vipers on the way to finishing second in the 2019 Kia Super league (KSL). Her best figures of 2/13 coming against Surrey Stars at Arundel. She represented the Vipers for the duration of the KSL and was part of the 2016 winning side.

Western Storm Media Day 2020 Pic by Martin Bennett

Speaking on what she can bring to the Storm team, Morris said:

“I’m a very hard worker, I work a lot on my fitness and my fielding. I’d like to think I bring an all-round game, more than just being a bowler or a batter but having a few strings to my bow.

I bring experience as well; I’m going to be one of the older players in the squad so hopefully I can pass on my knowledge to the younger players.”

Coming from the second most successful team in the KSL, Morris adds a winning mentality to a young dressing room and knowledge of how play with older players.

“When I was growing up there wasn’t much opportunity in women’s cricket. Playing with Winterbourne CC men’s team was the best way to play at a high standard of cricket,” she said. “They bowled a lot quicker and were obviously bigger than me so I had to work out different ways to get the most out of myself.

“It definitely gave me a bit of resilience as well because you get the odd comment saying ‘she’s just a girl’ but you build up thick skin to that and now playing in women’s cricket seems a bit easier. I think its great now that girls growing up don’t have to play in boys’ cricket to play a good standard.”

Western Storm was the most successful team in the KSL winning it twice and finishing runner up once but Fi is wary that they must not begin the new competition thinking anything is owed to them.

“We are starting fresh again. The only similarity is the name and I think its important that we don’t go in assuming that we are going to be at the top. It’s a brand new competition with many different players so it’s very important that we go into it with a fresh mindset. Other people might see it as an advantage but we can’t rely on reputation at all.”

Western Storm’s opening match in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy is against South East Stars on 29 August at Foxgrove Road, Beckenham. The Bristol County Ground will play host to Southern Vipers on 31 August.

All home matches will be streamed on the Western Storm website. Streaming services for away matches is yet to be confirmed.