Julia Price. ©WBBL

Julia Price will join the Brisbane Heat men’s coaching staff for the Big Bash League (BBL) 09, becoming the league’s first female coach. She will work alongside Darren Lehmann, the head coach, James Hopes, the assistant coach, Ryan Harris, the bowling coach and Gavin Fitness, the coaching assistant.

Price, the former Australian wicketkeeper, has played ten Tests and 84 ODIs and was a part of Australia’s World Cup winning sides in 1997 and 2005. She will link with the Heat from January 1 in their clash against Perth Scorchers men at the Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast. She is currently the United States of America’s coach and has earlier coached Tasmania as well as Hobart Hurricanes in the first three editions of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). The Hurricanes twice made it to the semis then.

“We’d been chatting about whether there were some professional development opportunities for her through her USA role and we just went from there,” said Lehmann. “She has an excellent cricket brain and plenty of experience as a head coach, so I can see her fitting quite neatly into our set-up.”

“I’m pleased the Heat have been able to go in a direction that we haven’t seen yet in the BBL in having a woman on the coaching staff, but I don’t believe it will be the last time it happens either. Hopefully this works well for ‘Pricey’ and assists her with her role with USA Cricket in the future,” added the former coach of Australia’s men’s teams.

Price, a 2019 Queensland Hall of Fame inductee, had been commentating throughout the fifth edition of the WBBL. She said that her stint with USA helped her discover and achieve more in her coaching career and said, “I’m very excited at this opportunity provided to me by the Heat.”

“The role gives me great exposure to different coaches and players and gets me out of my comfort zone to ensure I keep developing as a coach, particularly now with my work with USA Cricket,” said Price, who played 107 matches for Queensland and 38 for Tasmania. “There are plenty of ways to approach the game and from my different ‘experiences’, I’m hoping to be able to challenge the group to continue to think from a different perspective.”

The ninth edition of the BBL begins on December 17.

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