The WBBL|04 reigning champions Brisbane Heat have announced that they have re-signed all-rounder Grace Harris ahead of first ever standalone WBBL|05 season.
Harris hit the WBBL’s fastest ever century and the second fastest of all time during the Heat’s run to their inaugural title last season.
She smashed 100 off just 42 balls against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba, her second career WBBL century.
Her strike-rate last summer of 150.40 was one of the best in the WBBL, while she also took 13 wickets at an average of 19.07, with an economy rate of 5.90.
She claimed a vital 3-23 to restrict the Sydney Sixers in the thrilling Final at Drummoyne Oval before injuring her knee in the run chase which was seen through by Mooney.
The Heat also announced the appointment of Ashley Noffke as its coach. Noffke, an assistant coach of the world champion Australian Women’s team last year, takes over from Pete McGiffin who stood down at the end of the season after guiding the Heat to their inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League title.
Noffke, 42, will also take on the role as Konica Minolta Queensland Fire coach for the Women’s National Cricket League.
The Sunshine Coast product played 71 Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland, taking 252 wickets and scoring two centuries, as well as representing Australia at One Day and T20 International level.
He has previously worked with the Queensland Bulls as part of their support staff under coaches Darren Lehmann, Phil Jaques and Wade Seccombe, and was bowling coach when the Brisbane Heat won the Big Bash League title in BBL|02. He was also an assistant coach to Mickey Arthur in WA.
Brisbane Heat General Manager Andrew McShea congratulated Noffke on his appointment.
“Ash has had a number of important assistant roles within Australian cricket in recent times and we are very pleased that he will move into the head coaching role with the WBBL Brisbane Heat and the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire,’’ he said.
“The Heat winning the WBBL Final and the Fire finishing as runners-up in the WNCL demonstrate the developing strength of Queensland’s player pathways for talented female players.”
“We know that the WBBL is inspiring women and girls throughout the country. Six out of every 10 children taking up the game are girls and females make up 30% of all cricket participants nationally,’’ he said.
Noffke said he was excited about the future with the Heat and the Fire.
“I don’t think anyone who watched the semi-finals and final of the WBBL would disagree that it was some of the best cricket you could imagine,’’ he said.
“Having had the opportunity to work with the Australian women’s team, I know how dedicated the players are at being a success on the field and also leaders off it.”
“I’m enthusiastic about starting with the squad and working towards another successful summer,’’ he said.
Assistant coach Scott Prestwidge will continue in his role with both the Heat and the Fire.
McShea said the club was in the throes of finalizing its WBBL playing roster for the coming stand-alone season that commences in October and continues through until December.
The Heat’s season will commence under lights at North Sydney Oval on October 19 as they take on Sydney Sixers, whom they beat in the WBBL|04 Finals.
2019-20 WBBL BRISBANE HEAT MATCHES
- Saturday, 19 October 2019, Sydney Sixers vs Brisbane Heat, North Sydney Oval 6.10PM
- Sunday, 20 October 2019, Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat, North Sydney Oval 1.10PM
- Saturday, 26 October 2019, Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers, Allan Border Field, 1.10PM
- Sunday, 27 October 2019, Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes, Allan Border Field, 1.10PM
- Saturday, 2 November 2019, Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay, 6.15pm.
- Sunday, 3 November 2019, Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay, 3.00pm
- Saturday 9 November 2019, Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat, North Sydney Oval, 2.00pm
- Wednesday, 13 November 2019, Melbourne Stars v Brisbane Heat, CitiPower Centre, 1.00PM
- Saturday, 16 November 2019, Brisbane Heat v Sydney Thunder, Drummoyne Oval, 6.10PM
- Sunday, 17 November 2019, Perth Scorchers v Brisbane Heat, Drummoyne Oval, TBC
- Wednesday, 20 November 2019, Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat, CitiPower Centre, 12.00PM
- Friday, 22 November 2019, Hobart Hurricanes v Brisbane Heat, Blundstone Arena, 6.10PM
- Wednesday, 27 November 2019, Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades, Allan Border Field, 1.10pm
- Sunday, 1 December 2019, Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars, Junction Oval, TBC