Having made her Women's National Cricket League debut back in 2008 when she was still in school, Jonassen has played 66 one-day and 63 T20 games for Queensland so far. She is also Brisbane Heat most-capped player (alongside Beth Mooney and Delissa Kimmince) with 75 matches under her belt.
The left-arm spinner made her international debut as a teenager in 2012 and has since played 150 internationals for Australia, taking 175 wickets and scoring over 1000 runs. She has registered five-fers in both ODI and T20Is, and also boasts of a Test best of 99 with the bat - on debut in 2015.
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The 27-year-old is joined by Kimmince and Mooney as the only three centrally contracted players in the squad.
“The Board of Queensland Cricket was pleased to endorse the two roles when they were proposed and on behalf of the Directors, I congratulate Jess and Georgia and wish them and the squad every success this season,’’ said Chris Simpson, Queensland Cricket chairman.
“Queensland Cricket is proud of the efforts of all of our Queensland Fire players and justifiably considers them to be outstanding role models. They continue to assist us with growing the game further for girls and women by their actions on and off the field.”
The change in captaincy aside, Queensland have added three new recruits to their roster with the exciting trio of Georgia Voll, Ellie Johnston - both allrounders - and Caitlin Mair, a wicket-keeper batter, are set to make the transition from youth cricket into the senior system.
16-year-old Voll made her WNCL debut earlier last year, beginning her career with figures of 2 for 11 against Victoria. The allrounder earned her place in the squad last season on the back of some impressive performances through the Under-18 competition where she scored 314 runs at 34.9 with a top score of 83, and took 12 wickets at an average of 11.4 including best figures of 4 for 10.
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Meanwhile, Johnston, an opening batter, also showed great promise through the Under-18 program with three half-centuries to her credit. She is also a handy leg-spinner. Both she, and fellow 17-year-old Mair have been called up to the squad for the first time. They will join Charli Knott, Courtney Sippel and Lilly Mills as the other teenagers in the group.
“The opportunity has come for us to give them a chance to take the next step,’’ Ashley Noffke, Queensland head coach, said. “The number of women and girls playing the game in Queensland continues to increase and it is wonderful to see the array of talented players who are emerging as a result of that growth.”
“We are working hard as a team during the off-season and our younger players certainly will benefit from the increased exposure to the senior players in our squad like Jess, Georgia, Beth Mooney and Holly Ferling,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old batter Tess Cooper has been recalled to the squad after she enjoyed a spectacular run in the Katherine Raymont Shield. She scored over 1000 runs across both formats at an average of over 50 to give herself an opportunity to add to her 10 WNCL outings.
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Queensland will be without five of their senior players this year with former skipper short retiring, while the trio of Sammy-Jo Johnson (New South Wales), Josie Dooley and Jemma Barsby (both South Australia) have transferred over to different states. Seamer Haidee Birkett was also not offered a contract following an injury-ridden season.
The Queensland Cricket Board also ratified the appointment of a 'standalone female selector' to work alongside Noffke and help cover emerging talents and state selections.
Squad: Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Grace Harris, Laura Harris,
Georgia Redmayne, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Tess Cooper, Georgia Voll, Georgia Prestwidge, Holly Ferling, Courtney Sippel, Meagan Dixon, Lilly Mills,Caitlin Mair, Ellie Johnston
In: Georgia Voll, Charli Knott, Tess Cooper, Caitlin Mair, Ellie Johnston
Out: Sammy Jo Johnson (NSW), Josie Dooley (SA), Jemma Barsby (SA), Haidee Birkett (uncontracted), Kirby Short (retired)