Jorja Couch, Milly Illingworth, Maddie Green to play in Renegades' curtain-raiser

NEW CHALLENGE: Jorja Couch is one of three south-west rising stars who will play in a curtain-raiser match on Saturday. Picture: Sean Hardeman
NEW CHALLENGE: Jorja Couch is one of three south-west rising stars who will play in a curtain-raiser match on Saturday. Picture: Sean Hardeman

WESLEY-CBC'S Jorja Couch is relishing everything that will come with her most recent cricketing opportunity.

The 14-year-old will feature in a curtain-raiser match before the Women's Big Bash League clash between Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars at Ballarat's Eastern Oval on Saturday.

Couch, along with close friends and Western Waves teammates Milly Illingworth and Maddie Green, will play in the Georgia Wareham side in the Under 17 Greater Western Challenge.

The challenge brings the best cricket talent from country Victoria and splits it into two sides as a talent showcase.

Wareham's team will be up against the team named after Renegades and Australian women's team all-rounder Sophie Molineux.

Couch, who plays boys' cricket for Nirranda's under 15 side and in the WDCA's under 17 girls with Wesley-CBC, is excited and nervous about the rare opportunity to play on a big ground and in front of a large crowd.

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The Emmanuel College year eight student, who is part of the Western Waves' under 17 side, was pleased to be sharing the experience with Illingworth and Green.

"I'm really excited about playing with them as they are both good cricketers," the all-rounder said.

"I have played with them since the start of Waves (three years ago) and we have played with each other for a while."

Mortlake product Georgia Wareham is one of Couch's cricketing idols and takes inspiration from what she has achieved in such a short time.

"She is from the country and she shows you how far people (from the region) can go with their cricketing," the right-hander said.

Wareham and her Renegades teammates will search for their fifth win of the season on Saturday, for a chance to jump into the top four.

The Stars are at the foot of the ladder with just one win from their opening 10 matches.

Wareham has taken five wickets so far this summer. She returned to form with two scalps against the Brisbane Heat on Wednesday after four wicket-less matches.

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