Former Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars skipper Jodie Fields will join the ACT Meteors for the 2016-17 Women’s National Cricket League season.
Fields, who led Australia to tournament wins at the 2013 Women’s World Cup and 2012 World T20 during a successful reign as captain, is one of three new faces in the ACT squad.
The 31-year-old wicketkeeper retired from international cricket in 2014 after playing four Tests, 67 ODIs and 37 T20s for Australia, but continued playing for Queensland in the WNCL and last summer represented Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League.
The Meteors have also strengthened their bowling department with recruits Nicola Hancock (VicSpirit) and Emily Leys (NSW Breakers).
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Hancock recently returned from the Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars tour of Sri Lanka, while 23-year old Leys played for the Sydney Sixers in last year’s WBBL.
However the Meteors will be without experienced New Zealand pair Sara McGlashan and Lea Tahuhu, who are unavailable due to White Ferns commitments, while Sara Hungerford has retired.
"We were very conscious of finding experienced players to help fill the void of international duo of Sara McGlashan and Lea Tahuhu,” ACT Director of High Performance Aiden Blizzard said.
The Meteors finished the 2015 WNCL season in fifth place, but were within one point of both VicSpirit and Queensland, while they were also the only team to beat eventual champions South Australia.
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Blizzard said he was confident the Meteors could improve substantially in 2016.
"We are very aware that the standard of the WNCL competition is continuing to rise due to the inauguration of the WBBL, as well as increased opportunities for players to develop their skills overseas.”
"Our focus this season will be to continue raise the professional standards of our ACT Meteors squad to provide a platform for our players to fulfil their potential, both on and off the field."
ACT Meteors: Lily Bardsley, Samantha Bates, Kris Britt, Kira Churchland, Jodie Fields, Nicole Goodwin, Nicola Hancock, Jodie Hicks, Claire Koski, Emily Leys, Katie Mack, Rebecca Maher, Erin Osborne, Angela Reakes