Hayley Jensen, Naomi Stalenberg complete Hobart Hurricanes squad for WBBL06; Corinne Hall to lead

Women's CricZone Staff
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Hayley Jensen to play for Otago Sparks

Hayley Jensen in action. © Getty Images

Having previously played for Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers, this will be Jensen's fifth season in the competition after missing out last year. She will join Hurricanes as their fourth overseas, and fifth marquee signing of the tournament.

"The rules are you can only play three overseas but because we've lost Tayla Vlaeminck, who is a marquee player, we're allowed to bring an extra one (in the group travelling to Sydney) for that security purpose," Hurricanes coach Salliann Briggs said of Jensen's inclusion.

Scott Barnes, general manager of Hobart Hurricanes, said the allrounder's performances through the T20 World Cup and during New Zealand's tour of Australia encouraged them to bring her into the mix. Jensen was her side's top wicket-taker in the World Cup in February-March, and made some useful contributions with the bat, through the recent series in Brisbane.

“The New Zealand cricket system has been great for Hayley, and I’m confident that she will rotate into the squad pretty easily”, said Barnes. “She’s first played for the Kiwis in the 2013-14 season, and to have notched up a Player of the Match award in the team’s first World Cup match earlier this year shows just how much she has to offer.”

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Jensen is one of several new signings for the Hurricanes including fellow New Zealander Rachel Priest and her Sydney Thunder teammate Naomi Stalenberg.

Stalenberg, who made the move from New South Wales to Tasmania for the 50-over competition have lost her contract with the Breakers, will also trade Sydney's green for the purple. She joins fellow New South Welshwomen Nicola Carey and Belinda Vakarewa in the squad.

"I'm really looking forward to getting out in the purple, we have a great bunch of girls and I'm really looking forward to playing with some old teammates and some new people as well," Stalenberg said.

The pair of Tayla Vlaeminck and Maisy Gibson who were part of the squad last season, will miss out this time due to injury.

Coach Briggs said she is pleased to have included the young Tasmanian Amy Smith in the squad. She will be the youngest player within the bubble in Sydney.

“Amy is an exciting young cricketer who made her WNCL debut at the age of fourteen, having a leg-spinner is crucial in T20 cricket and she gives us an option with the bat lower in the order. We’ll have a large focus on supporting her throughout the tournament.”

“With Tayla and Maisy not able to play this season it’s been good to be able to bring in some new young talent. While they won’t be in Sydney, we’ve got some plans for how they can still play a role in the broader team.”

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Additionally, Briggs highlighted the need to be prepared for all situations within the bubble and stressed the importance of taking care of the players' mental and physical health. She added that the squad looks strong and well rounded with all bases covered.

“We’ve been supporting the players for what they’ll need for this experience, and now we’re just talking about performance and cricket”, said Briggs. “We know that we’ve strengthened our squad, and that we’ve got options in all areas so we’re really excited to start playing.”

Aside from their squad of 14, Hurricanes will be travelling with three replacement players in Chloe Abel, Nell Bryson Smith and Emily Smith.

Squad: Corinne Hall (c), Nicola Carey, Brooke Hepburn, Hayley Jensen, Erica Kershaw, Hayley Matthews, Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest, Chloe Rafferty, Amy Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Emma Thompson, Chloe Tryon, Belinda Vakarewa

Replacement players: Chloe Abel, Nell Bryson Smith, Emily Smith