Despite Devine-Mooney presence, Jones expresses desire to bat in the top order for Scorchers in WBBL06
Amy Jones is all set to play for Perth Scorchers for the third straight time in the sixth edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) that starts next Sunday (October 25). She scored 391 runs in WBBL05 at a strike rate of 115.33 in the 13 games she played, only behind the then captain Meg Lanning’s 531 runs for the Scorchers.
Most importantly, Jones’ success had been as an opener. Starting alongside Lanning, the pair put on four out of the five 100-run stands for the Scorchers last season. But with the signings of Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine for WBBL06, whether the English wicketkeeper-batter continues to open remains to be seen.
“I’ve spoken to Shelley (Nitschke, head coach) about my strengths and obviously I’d like to see myself in the top order,” said Jones, when asked about her batting position during an online media interaction on Friday (October 16).
“But I guess we’ll have to just wait and see how that pans out. We’ve had some really good conversations as a team about how we want to go about it. I think everyone’s on the same page.”
Jones was chuffed about sharing the dressing room with two explosive batters in Mooney and Devine and said that she would be looking to see how they go about with their stuff.
“It’s cool to have Mooney and Devine coming to play. Having already played with Soph back in Loughborough Lightning (Women’s Cricket Super League) at home, I’m just really excited to play with her again and learn from Mooney how she goes about it. She’s obviously one of the most successful T20 players in the world. I’m just really excited and can’t wait to get going really.”
Returning to action for the first time after the T20 World Cup in Australia, Jones looked in good touch with the bat during the T20Is against West Indies last month. She scored 108 runs in the series including a half century in the fourth match, that was the joint-fastest for England in T20Is.
But being inside a room in Adelaide for a couple of weeks has its own set of challenges – the players aren’t allowed to venture out to train during the said period, that’s set to end on Sunday (October 18). She’s been making do with the gym equipment, the treadmill and exercise bike she’s been provided with in trying to keep fit.
“I’m very lucky I’m not a bowler, they’ve got a lot more challenges,” she said with a laugh, before talking about how she tried to work on her shoulder strength.
“We’ve got med balls as well. (I’m) trying to keep throwing them against mattresses and against the concrete walls in my balcony. Hopefully we haven’t caused trouble to people on either side of us; we haven’t got any complaints yet.”
Jones has her England team-mate Sarah Glenn, who will be playing her first WBBL, for company with the Scorchers.
“It’s brilliant we’ve got Glenny on board,” she said about the leg-spinner, who picked up seven wickets in the series against West Indies.
“She’s done so well recently and she’s just a really good friend to have around. I’m really happy she’s here. Having spoken to her, she’s so laid back person as it is and that’s basically the key.”
“Obviously having watched the WBBL from outside you can put a bit too much pressure on yourself. So hopefully she enjoys herself when she goes out and sticks to what she’s been doing and what worked for her so far.”
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The players will fly to Sydney on Monday (October 19) and assemble as a team there. That would leave them with hardly six days to gel and get going as a squad. However, Jones isn’t worried about the lack of time, given they’ve been having conversations over video calls.
“I think it’s fairly standard. As an overseas player you obviously join the team later than the preps are going on for. So in terms of gelling as a team that’s not a concern really. I’m lucky that I’ve played for them a few years and known them well.”
“This will be my third year now. It’s a great place to be in as a player as I’m familiar with all the girls and the staff and it’s just a great setup to be a part of.”
Late last year, Nitschke, Australia’s assistant coach, was announced as the head coach of the Scorchers after Lisa Keightley departed for her England job. Although Jones hasn’t really worked with the former Australian spinner before, she’s looking forward to doing so, given the reputation Nitschke has built for herself.
“I didn’t know her before, obviously seen her around comps and things. But she’s been good, she’s been calling me regularly and we’ve been keeping in touch.”
“She has got a lot of experience and has had a lot of success, really looking forward to working with her,” Jones concluded.