With the WBBL03 opening weekend fast approaching, the eight Rebel WBBL clubs have begun unveiling their squads for the third edition of the Twenty20 competition.
In addition to a clean slate from which to build their squad, clubs now have more freedom when it comes to list management with the introduction of multi-year contracts.
The Big Bash contracting period commenced on August 4 and all WBBL lists will need to be finalised by Friday November 24, with 15 spots available on each squad including three overseas players.
Each club's playing roster can contain no more than five marquee players, inclusive of the overseas and Australian Women's Cricket Team players.
'Australian Players' are those who have represented the Southern Stars in at least 10 limited-overs matches in the three years prior to Cricket Australia announcing the national contract list on April 24. Scroll down for a full list of relevant players.
The League has this year set the salary cap for each club at $298,890 AUD.
Here's the latest on each club's playing list:
The Strikers have revealed their first signing for WBBL|03 and it's a big one: New Zealand superstar Sophie Devine will be back in blue this summer. Devine, who smashed 103 from 48 balls in WBBL|0, returns to Adelaide Oval, will also play for South Australia in the 50-over WNCL.
“I’m really excited to play both 50-over and Twenty20 formats through playing with both SA teams,” said Devine. “It’s great to come back to Adelaide - it’s sort of a second home now which is really nice.”
The Strikers have room for at least two new international players this summer following the retirements of Sarah Coyte and Charlotte Edwards, while Sarah Elliott has also retired.
Current squad: Sophie Devine (NZ)
Brisbane Heat have secured the services of Australian duo Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen for the next three WBBL seasons. Mooney was the first confirmed signing from any club for WBBL|03, and the first female player to sign a multi-year Big Bash deal after the longer-term contracts were introduced for the WBBL as part of the new Memorandum of Understanding. Mooney was named WBBL|02 player of the tournament last summer after scoring 482 runs at an average of 43.81, including five half-centuries. The wicketkeeper-batter also snared 12 dismissals behind the stumps including 10 stumpings, before translating that form into a successful run with the bat at the top of the order for Australia.
Current squad: Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney
The Hurricanes have confirmed three signings for WBBL|03 in the past week, with Emma Thompson, Erin Fazackerley and Brooke Hepburn all on board for the upcoming summer. Middle-order batter Thompson played 13 matches last season, while Fazackerley is a familiar surname in Tasmanian cricket circles - Erin is the niece of Kim Fazackerley, who was the first Tasmanian female to play for Australia. Meanwhile Hepburn was a key component of the Hurricanes bowling stocks in WBBL|03=2, taking 11 wickets in 14 matches. Hobart will have at least one new face this summer following the retirement of former Australia seamer Julie Hunter. Her retirement opens another spot for an international on the Hobart books, and the Hurricanes will be eager to lure some big names down south. Last year, their contingent of marquee players comprised Hunter, England captain Heather Knight, New Zealand allrounder Amy Satterthwaite and rising West Indies star Hayley Matthews.
Current squad: Erin Fazackerley, Brooke Hepburn, Emma Thompson
The Renegades have bolstered their batting line-up with the signature of former Australia batter Jess Duffin (nee Cameron), who has moved across from the Stars. Duffin will share her commitments between the Renegades and Collingwood Football Club and is hoping to make a major impact in WBBL|03 after undergoing shoulder surgery during the off-season. She joins one of the most promising young players in the country in red, with allrounder Sophie Molineux committing to a multi-year deal with the club. The 19-year-old left-arm spinner was named the inaugural winner of the Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year Award at AB Medal night in January, and was last month named in the inaugural Women’s National Performance Squad.
Current squad: Jess Duffin, Sophie Molineux
The Melbourne Stars will field a new-look team this summer. Gone are former captain Meg Lanning (Scorchers) and Duffin (Renegades), with the Stars appointing Australia leg-spinner Kristen Beams skipper for WBBL|03. The Stars have also confirmed three overseas signings, securing the services of South Africa batters Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, alongside England allrounder Georgia Elwiss, Their contingent of internationals is rounded out by the signature of former Australia off-spinner Erin Osborne, who has moved south from the Sydney Thunder.
Current squad: Kristen Beams (c), Makinley Blows, Hayleigh Brennan, Mignon du Preez (SA), Georgia Elwiss (Eng), Nicole Faltum, Emma Kearney, Alana King, Anna Lanning, Lizelle Lee (SA), Katie Mack, Erin Osborne, Gemma Triscari
The Scorchers have pulled off the biggest coup in WBBL history, luring Australia captain Lanning for the next three seasons. Lanning’s deal with the Scorchers will see her in orange until the end of the 2019-20 season, and while the world’s best batter has already been ruled out of WBBL|03 due to the aforementioned shoulder surgery, the multi-year deal means Scorchers fans will have the chance to watch Lanning in action in WBBL|04 and WBBL|05. The Scorchers have also signed Australian batters Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani to multi-year deals.
Current squad: Nicole Bolton, Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani
The Sydney Sixers landed a major early blow on their local rivals, luring rising fast bowler Lauren Cheatle away from the Thunder. Cheatle has become the first player to sign a multi-year WBBL deal with the Sixers, committing to the reigning champions until the end of WBBL|05. The 18-year-old left-arm quick, who made her Australian debut in January 2016, is on the comeback trail after shoulder surgery ruled her out of the Women’s World Cup. Cheatle is the first official signing from the Sixers ahead of the third season of the WBBL, but talented allrounder Ashleigh Gardner has also confirmed she’ll remain in magenta this summer despite a move to South Australia in the 50-over Women’s National Cricket League.
Current squad: Lauren Cheatle
The Thunder locked in their signings of the off-season with up-and-coming leg-spinner Maisy Gibson back on board for WBBL|03, alongside two new faces in Hannah Trethewy and Hannah Darlington. Trethwey is an 18-year-old wicketkeeper who made her NSW Breakers debut last summer, while 15-year-old Darlington is the first graduate from the Thunder academy to be handed a full contract. The club will be looking to fill at least four places on their list for the upcoming season after the departures of Cheatle and Osborne, while former Stef Daffara and Claire Koski have not been offered contracts for the upcoming season. But the Thunder are said to be confident of re-signing star internationals Harmanpreet Kaur and Stafanie Taylor, alongside skipper and Australian vice-captain Alex Blackwell.
Current squad: Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Hannah Trethewey
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The players deemed to be 'Australian Players' under the League's guidelines are as follows: Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Jess Cameron, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani.