Melbourne Stars sign Linsey Smith, Maddy Darke for WBBL07

Linsey Smith (L) and Maddy Darke © Getty Images

Melbourne Stars signed England’s Linsey Smith and Western Australia wicket-keeper Maddy Darke for the seventh edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), the club announced on Tuesday (October 5).

Left-arm spinner Smith will be making her WBBL debut, while Darke was part of the Sydney Sixers during the last two editions of the competition. 26-year-old Smith has played nine T20Is for England in her international career so far and has taken 13 wickets.

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“I’m excited to join the team in Tasmania later this month and experience everything the Big Bash has to offer. I have watched the WBBL from the UK and can’t wait to pull on the Stars green this year,” Smith said.

Smith was in action recently for the Northern Superchargers in the inaugural edition of The Hundred and also has been playing domestic cricket for Northern Diamonds in both the RHF Trophy and the CE Cup.

“Linsey will add another level of versatility to our squad this season with her left arm spin and batting in the middle order. Her experiences on the international stage will be beneficial to our squad, that is diverse in age and experience,” Jarrad Loughman, head coach of Stars, said.

“She had a terrific English summer, highlighted by a strong tournament at The Hundred.”

20-year-old Darke, who has played 13 WBBL matches so far, is looking forward to sharing the dressing room with the experienced players from the Stars squad.

“The Stars squad is filled with such experienced players, I’m thrilled to be joining them and am ready to take advantage of the knowledge pool the team has. Seeing them get so close last year and knowing what they’re capable of, I’m ready to play my part this season,” Darke said.

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“Both she (Linsey Smith) and Maddy Darke will be fantastic additions to the team with the experience to share and opportunities to learn, we’re looking forward to seeing both of them thrive in a new environment,” Loughman added.

Runners-up from the last season, Stars will play Sixers in the opening fixture of the tournament on October 14 at the North Sydney Oval.

Melbourne Stars Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Elyse Villani, Annabel Sutherland, Lucy Cripps, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Anna Lanning, Georgia Gall, Rhys McKenna, Erin Osborne, Maia Bouchier, Maddy Darke, Linsey Smith