WBBL06: Everything you need to know about the squads

Australia’s premier domestic T20 competition, the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), is all set to return for a sixth season, beginning on October 25, with all matches to be played in Sydney, though the final schedule is yet to be out.

Varying regulations across countries, restrictions on air-travel, apprehension about being stuck within a ‘bio-bubble’, quarantine periods, and a potential clash with the BCCI organised Women’s T20 Challenge, have all been among the worries aired, but none of these issues have stopped the biggest names from around the world signing up for the competition.

Teams have to name their 15-member squads within that period and are allowed to have five marquee players – with a maximum of three overseas stars – within their ranks. Those holding contracts with CA are also considered marquee players. While some teams have managed to tempt the big names to shift base, others have tried to keep the core of their side together and remain largely unchanged.

Women’s CricZone takes a look at how all the WBBL squads have shaped up so far.

(Squads are listed in the order they finished during WBBL05)

 

Brisbane Heat

© Getty Images

Brisbane Heat successfully defended their title last year. © Getty Images

In: Nadine de Klerk, Nicola Hancock, Georgia Redmayne, Georgia Voll

Out: Haidee Birkett, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Beth Mooney, Kirby Short (retired)

Squad status: Complete

Defending champions Brisbane Heat have locked in their 15-member squad ahead of the sixth season. Although they lost the services of Beth Mooney (Perth Scorchers) and Sammy-Jo Johnson (Sydney Thunder), both of whom played central roles in the team’s second triumph, the Queensland side have managed to retain a bit of local flavour in their side. Australia’s allround pair of Delissa Kimmince and Jess Jonassen remain with the club, with the latter even being named skipper of the side, following the retirement of Kirby Short.

Laura and Grace Harris, too, have re-signed with Heat, and will be expected to play major roles in the team’s campaign.

Georgia Redmayne, the wicketkeeper-batter who turned out for Perth Scorchers last season, will take the gloves for Heat this time round. Pacer Nicola Hancock from Melbourne Stars also made the move to Heat, and teenage allrounder Georgia Voll has earned her maiden call-up to a WBBL side.

The overseas slots are occupied by the trio of Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green and Nadine de Klerk. The New Zealand duo enjoyed a successful stint with the club last year and will be hoping to continue their good run in the tournament. Meanwhile, South Africa allrounder Nadine de Klerk, who impressed one and all with a fiery spell against Australia in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup earlier this year, has been invited to play her first overseas league.

Squad so far: Jess Jonassen (c), Nadine de Klerk, Maddy Green, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Nicola Hancock, Mikayla Hinkley, Amelia Kerr, Delissa Kimmince, Charli Knott, Lilly Mills, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll

 

Adelaide Strikers

© Getty Images

Adelaide Strikers reached the final of WBBL05. © Getty Images

In: Laura Wolvaardt

Out: Sophie Devine

Squad status: 4 spots left to fill

WBBL05 runners-up Adelaide Strikers have named eleven players as part of their squad so far. Sophie Devine’s departure is a big blow to the side, and they will no doubt be looking for a top-order bat to partner the skipper Suzie Bates.

Strikers penned a deal with the elegant South African batter Laura Wolvaardt as their second overseas professional to fill the void left by Devine, but it remains to be seen where she bats considering her recent success in the format came while batting down the order. They have the option of signing one more overseas player to strengthen the squad. West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor and Lauren Winfield – who took Taylor’s place last year – are out of contract as of now.

Strikers have retained their lead bowler Megan Schutt and allrounder Tahlia McGrath, who earned her first central contract with CA, as their marquee Australia players. Amanda Jade-Wellington, young Darcie Brown, and former Australia allrounder Sarah Coyte are also part of the group. They have also retained the South Australian quartet of Alex Price, Tegan McPharlin, Ellie Falconer and Annie O’Neil.

Squad so far: Suzie Bates (C), Darcie Brown, Sarah Coyte, Amanda Jade-Wellington, Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Laura Wolvaardt, Alex Price, Tegan McPharlin, Ellie Falconer and Annie O’Neil

 

Perth Scorchers

Perth Scorchers celebrate a wicket. © Getty Images

Natalie Sciver, Meg Lanning and Amy Jones played lead roles in Perth’s success last season. © Getty Images

In: Sophie Devine, Beth Mooney

Out: Meg Lanning, Georgia Redmayne

Squad status: 5 spots left to fill

Semi-finalists from the last season Perth Scorchers have been the franchise that made the biggest gains so far despite Meg Lanning leaving them for Melbourne Stars. Head coach Shelley Nitschke’s presence helped lure superstars Sophie Devine and Beth Mooney to the side, giving them the advantage of having the top two run-getters of WBBL05 at the top of the order.

Devine has been named the captain of the squad and Mooney is the only other marquee signing for the Scorchers so far. It remains to be seen whether England internationals Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver will return to take the overseas spots to further bolster the batting line-up.

Ireland international Kim Garth, who moved to Perth relinquishing her national contract, is currently off-contract.

Squad so far: Sophie Devine (c), Jemma Barsby, Samantha Betts, Nicole Bolton, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham, Emma King, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Beth Mooney

 

Melbourne Renegades

© Getty Images

Melbourne Renegades reached their second consecutive semi-final last season. © Getty Images

In: Erin Fazackerley, Ella Hayward, Lizelle Lee, Amy Satterthwaite

Out: Tammy Beaumont, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Anna Lanning, Danielle Wyatt

Squad status: Complete

Melbourne Renegades have announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming season with New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite back at the helm after missing the WBBL05 during her pregnancy. She will join Lea Tahuhu and Lizelle Lee as the team’s overseas signings.

Lee, the hard-hitting batter from South Africa, made the shift from Melbourne Stars, and will take her place at the top of the order after England internationals Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont were released by the club.

Australia internationals Sophie Molinuex and Georgia Wareham complete the marquee quota for the franchise. Claire Koski, Anna Lanning and Erica Kershaw have been left out of the side while Erin Fazackerley, who previously turned out for Hobart Hurricanes, has been roped in to complete the squad.

Squad: Amy Satterthwaite (c), Makinley Blows, Maitlan Brown, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Erin Fazackerley, Ella Hayward, Lizelle Lee, Carly Leeson, Sophie Molineux, Courtney Neale, Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb 

 

Sydney Sixers

Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy will continue to represent Sydney Sixers in WBBL06. © Getty Images

In: Angela Reakes, Lisa Griffith

Out: Lauren Smith

Squad status: Complete

Two-time champions Sydney Sixers haven’t made many changes in their 15-member squad retaining 13 players from the squad that represented the club last season. They will be hoping for skipper Ellyse Perry’s return to full fitness after missing out on the latter stages of the competition last year.

Perry, who had surgery following a hamstring injury that she suffered during the T20 World Cup, is aiming to return to cricket with Australia’s series against New Zealand in the second half of September. She will continue to lead what looks like a very strong Sixers squad that includes the likes of Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner, and South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, four of whom complete the ‘marquee’ list of players. Since allrounder Erin Burns does not hold a central contract, she can continue plying her trade for the Sixers.

Off-spinning allrounder Lauren Smith has departed for their neighbouring rival Sydney Thunder, while Angela Reakes returned to the Sixers’ squad, where she played in the first three seasons, before turning out for Stars in WBBL04. Sixers have retained their teenage trio of Hayley Silver-Holmes, Stella Campbell, and Emma Hughes along with Jodie Hicks.

Allrounder Lisa Griffith have signed up a deal with the Sixers, after representing Sydney Thunder for three years and veteran Sarah Aley will make her sixth successive appearance for Sixers– this time as player cum assistant coach.

Squad: Ellyse Perry (c), Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Emma Hughes, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Angela Reakes, Lisa Griffith, Sarah Aley

 

Sydney Thunder

© Getty Images

Hannah Darlington was one of Sydney Thunder’s most promising players last season. © Getty Images

In: Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Lauren Smith

Out: Alex Blackwell (retired), Rene Farrell (retired), Rachel Priest

Squad status: 3 spots left to fill

Sydney Thunder saw two players call time on their careers at the end of last season. Former Australia internationals, and bona fide New South Wales and Thunder legends, Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell chose to hang up their boots after five successful seasons with the club. Despite the massive loss, Thunder have managed to bolster their squad with the inclusion of ace allrounder Sammy-Jo Johnson who made the move from Heat.

Shabnim Ismail is currently the only overseas option for the Thunder side, after Rachel Priest, the destructive wicketkeeper-batter from New Zealand, decided to join Hobart Hurricanes. Pakistan allrounder Nida Dar is currently off contract.

Ismail aside, captain Rachael Haynes is the other marquee player in the side, and will bring a great deal of experience to what looks like a very young side. Teenage sensation Phoebe Litchfield and WBBL05 ‘Young Gun of the Year’ Hannah Darlington have retained their spots, while Anika Learoyd, another teenager, has also signed a two year deal with the club.

The inclusion of off-spinning allrounder Lauren Smith gives the side an extra bowling option and plenty of energy in the field.

Squad so far: Rachael Haynes (c), Sam Bates, Hannah Darlington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson, Kate Peterson


Hobart Hurricanes

Hobart Hurricanes. © Hobart Hurricanes/ Twitter

Hobart Hurricanes WBBL05 squad. © Hobart Hurricanes/ Twitter

In: Rachel Priest

Out: Erin Fazackerley, Heather Knight, Fran Wilson

Squad status: 6 spots left to fill

Perennial underachievers, Hobart Hurricanes have tried to change a few things ahead of the sixth season as they begin their attempt to move up the points table. But they were dealt a body blow when Australia speedster Tayla Vlaeminck was ruled out of the competition with an injury.

Hurricanes will have the services of swashbuckling New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Rachel Priest in their ranks as she makes a fresh start leaving Sydney Thunder. West Indies allrounder Hayley Matthews and South Africa’s Chloe Tryon have been retained by the club and will fill the overseas professional slots. England’s Fran Wilson, who came in as a replacement for Matthews, and her skipper Heather Knight would need to find new homes as the trade window is nearing closure.

Vlaminck’s absence would also mean Hurricanes won’t be able to sign another marquee player as all the other centrally contracted Australia players have been signed by their respective sides. Instead they will rely heavily on Belinda Vakarewa – who had a sensational outing last season – to cover her absence.

Squad so far: Nicola Carey, Maisy Gibson, Corinne Hall, Brooke Hepburn, Hayley Matthews, Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest, Chloe Tryon, Belinda Vakarewa

 

Melbourne Stars

© Getty Images

Meg Lanning’s return to Melbourne Stars will come as a huge boost to the side. © Getty Images

In: Georgia Gall, Meg Lanning, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt

Out: Kristen Beams (retired), Nicola Hancock, Lizelle Lee, Madeline Penna

Squad status: 3 spots left to fill

A wooden spoon finish in the last season meant Melbourne Stars were desperate for a fresh start ahead of WBBL06, and they have procured one of the biggest signings, landing Australia skipper Meg Lanning.

Lanning will return to the lead the side after three years with the Perth Scorchers and likely to fill the void left at the top order by the departure of Lizelle Lee. Australia international Elyse Villani could partner her at the top of the order.

Stars have managed to re-sign South Africa’s Mignon du Preez ahead of the season and she is currently the only overseas star in the squad. Annabel Sutherland, who earned her first central contract this year, is the other marquee player in the side. Stars would like to rope in two more overseas stars to complete the marquee signings and strengthen the squad.

Former Australia cricketer Kristen Beams announced her retirement during the last season. Stars have retained off-spinner Erin Osborne, seamer Tess Flintoff and leg-spinner Alana King – who suffered an injury in the middle of last season. King’s return means Madeline Penna, who was called in as a replacement, misses out. Stars also have a newcomer in their ranks in left-arm pacer Georgia Gall.

Katherine Brunt and Natalie Sciver have been their latest signings, both of whom last played for Scorchers. Stars had often fallen short in high-pressure situations and the duo’s presence should be the just balm they need.

Squad so far: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Tess Flintoff, Georgia Gall, Alana King, Erin Osborne, Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani, Mignon du Preez, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt