By Nick Creely
Dandenong star Sophie Molineux has come a long way since walking into the club out of Bairnsdale as a teenager in 2013/14.
At just 23, the all-rounder has quickly established herself as not only a star of the Premier Cricket competition with the Panthers, but in the country, with over 30 international matches for Australia and a strong domestic record making her one of the most sought after talents going around.
And now the prodigious talent who is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner and Dandenong premiership player has been named the youngest captain in the Melbourne Renegades’ history in the WBBL.
With 74 WBBL matches next to her for the Renegades – and being part of the squad since the inception of the competition – it’s only fitting that she takes over from Amy Satterthwaite.
“It’s a real honour to be appointed captain of a club I love so much and follow in the footsteps of some high-quality leaders that I look up to,” Molineux told the Renegades website.
“Amy Satterthwaite has had a massive influence on the group and on me personally. Her wealth of knowledge and ability to stay composed is what I’ve always admired. Jess Duffin is such a competitor and leads by example and I’ve also had the privilege of playing under Meg Lanning in the Victorian and Australian teams.
“I am really excited to be able to take what I’ve learnt from each of them, combine it with how I approach the game and continue to grow and learn along the way.
“It’ll be great to work alongside Simon Helmot and the other senior players in the squad. I’m grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to step up into a leadership position and I hope we can have a really strong season.”
While the Panthers haven’t seen much of Molineux in recent seasons due to international and domestic commitments, the all-rounder has an imposing record at club land, with 1041 runs at 31.55 and 39 wickets at 16.15 from 36 matches across her career.
She is also the face of the Molineux Academy, which is run by the Dandenong Cricket Club and is designed for talented female players from the region from 15 to 17 years of age. The program is ran over eight weeks during the off-season with players occasionally invited to continue training with the senior squad during the summer.