Beth Mooney signs two-year deal with Perth Scorchers

Beth Mooney has played for Brisbane Heat since the tournament's inception. © Getty Images

Beth Mooney signed a two-year contract with Perth Scorchers, the club announced on Wednesday (July 29). There has been plenty of speculation over the last month that the left-hander, who played for Brisbane Heat through the first five seasons, and was player of the match in the team’s back-to-back title triumphs, was going to move west.

Mooney, the second-highest run-getter in the history of the Women’s Big Bash League, has scored 2,576 runs at an average of 45.19. Her presence will beef up the Scorchers batting line-up that is without Meg Lanning, who confirmed she will return to Melbourne Stars this season.

Mooney has been in prolific form over the last 12 months, first leading Brisbane Heat to their second WBBL title with an unbeaten fifty in the final, and then following it up with a player of the series performance in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup at home. In the WBBL, she amassed 743 runs – only trailing Sophie Devine – at a strike rate of 125.08, before scoring a record 259 runs at 64.75 in Australia’s fifth T20 World Cup win.

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Her successful run saw her rise to the top of the ICC T20I batting rankings for the first time, where she currently sits above New Zealand’s Suzie Bates and India’s teen sensation Shafali Verma.

Mooney, who has so far represented Australia in as many as 87 internationals and has two T20 centuries to her name, said she is excited about her move to Perth for the next two years.

“I’m really happy with my decision to join the Scorchers for the next few seasons. I have heard great things about the people and culture at the WACA and I love the way Perth has gone about their cricket over the years,” she said.

Mooney admitted that part of the reason for the move was the opportunity to work with Scorchers’ newly appointed head coach Shelley Nitschke and WACA CEO and former Australia wicket-keeper Christina Matthews.

“The move to the West is a really exciting opportunity for me to work with Christina Matthews and Shelley, two very highly regarded women and leaders of our great game, and reunite with Nicole Bolton and Heather Graham who have both been part of the Australian set-up.”

“I can’t wait to be a part of the team, and continue to learn and evolve as a player. I know that they are building for success and I’m looking forward to being part of that and bringing my knowledge and experience to the side,” said Mooney.

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Mooney will join the likes of Nicole Bolton, Heather Graham, Jemma Barsby, Piepa Cleary and Emma King. She is so far Scorchers’ only marquee signing with Bolton having recently lost her national contract.

Nitschke who said she is excited to continue her association with Mooney at the club, added that it was the left-hander’s record in high-stakes matches that made her a valuable asset to the club.

“Beth is one of the best T20 batters in the world at the moment and has experienced great success at both the domestic and international levels,” said Nitschke. “Her T20 statistics over the past 12 months are phenomenal, but what is really impressive is her ability to deliver on the big stage and under pressure. That sort of character in the team can be inspirational.”

“Beth also has great cricket awareness and I am sure she’ll be able to pass on some of her knowledge and thoughts on the game to the playing group.”

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Scorchers are also reportedly in talks with New Zealand international Sophie Devine whose contract with Adelaide Strikers ended last season. If they manage to secure her services, it will add great depth to the squad.

The club can sign a total of five marquee players with a total of three overseas professionals. The contracting period is due to end on September 25.

Scorchers begin their WBBL campaign against Sydney Thunder on October 17, before they take on Melbourne Stars the following day.