By Graham Hardcastle
Lauren Winfield is targeting a big Kia Super League campaign for the Yorkshire Diamonds and herself personally.
The Diamonds captain and England top order bat is confident a new look squad can secure a top three finish in the group stage to qualify for Finals Day at Hove on August 27.
Winfield takes her side to Taunton for Sunday’s televised opener against champions Western Storm (2.30pm), although they will have to do without star all-rounder Katherine Brunt due to a back injury which also rules her out of next Friday’s Roses clash at Emerald Headingley.
Winfield, 27, also says this competition provides her with the ideal opportunity to stake a claim for this winter’s World T20 in the West Indies, with her currently on the fringes of the white ball sides.
“With there being 10 group games as opposed to five, I think it’s going to be a better competition, and I’ve got really high expectations of the group,” said Winfield.
“Our goal is to be at Finals Day. From there, anything can happen. But we have to have our sights set on that.
“It’s very different personnel in the group. We only have six or seven players from last year.
“Myself and Paul (Grayson, coach) felt we needed to make a shift in terms of bringing in more youth with potential and energy. We’ve also had a change with our overseas players. Hopefully that strengthens our side.
“Looking at the performances of Beth Mooney over the last 12 months, she’s one the best female T20 players on the planet at the minute.
“Delissa Kimmince has also had a fantastic last six to eight months with Australia, especially with the ball. But having seen her playing for the Brisbane Heat, she’s a much better batter than where she is in the Australian team. She is a genuine all-rounder.
“Chamari Atapattu also performed well for us last year.“