Southern Vipers will go into another season as one of the favourites to walk away with at least one piece of silverware. They have won each edition of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and finished third in the cup that carries their coaches name the Charlotte Edwards Trophy.
Edwards has got a talented group of players with a generous mix of experience and youth and with new signing Anya Shrubsole as a player coach they will be well served on and off the pitch.
As well as the signing of Shrubsole is the loan signing of Chloe Hill from Central Sparks, who despite playing her county cricket for Worcester is from Buckinghamshire which falls in the Vipers region, which gives Hill an affinity for the area. A quality stumper Hill will relish the chance to play for the Vipers.
One of the exciting things about the Southern Vipers is they have England internationals at both ends of their international careers, which means they have star quality whoever is absent. Shrubsole should play a full domestic season for the first time in a long while.
One of those who have added England caps in the not too distant past is Georgia Elwiss an allrounder that contributes on the batting and bowling fronts with determination.
Danni Wyatt will have something to prove this season with her place in the England side far from secure, and as though a decent portion of her career has found her place in the batting order yoyoing more than she would like. England may start to look elsewhere with the Commonwealth games and a T20 World Cup on the horizon, which would no doubt benefit Southern Vipers.
Captain Georgia Adams will again lead from the front and her calm ability to score runs at the top of the order radiates through the rest of the team.
Ones to watch
Lauren Bell is a tall fast bowler who when she gets her radar right is one of the most difficult bowlers on the domestic scene. With height comes bounce and that puts batters under the sort of pressure they are not used to. With a place in the England side opening up, Bell will see this as a genuine opportunity to steak a place at the higher level, although there are players ahead in the queue a good start to the season could see her move up a few place.
Charlie Dean the off-spinner is a player who has started her international career with a quiet determination that has seen her become an important part of the international side. There is still work for the all-rounder to improve and there is no reason why she can’t move steadily up the batting order as well as continue to take plenty of wickets.
Tara Norris the left-arm seam bowler made her debut for the country of her birth over the winter becoming the rarest of players in English domestic cricket, a United States international. It is a good move for the bowler who has taken the opportunity to take herself out of a comfort zone. Leading a bowling attack will do her some good as well and once she is back from the FairBreak tournament expect her to hit the ground running.
Opening fixture: 14 May, Thunder, Hove