The Melbourne Stars have won the race for the prized signature of former Australian batter Jess Cameron for the second season of the Women’s Big Bash League, while skipper Meg Lanning has re-signed.
Last month, Cameron announced she was making a return to cricket, signing a deal with the Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit for the 2016-17 season.
The 26-year-old took an indefinite break from cricket last October and declared herself unavailable for national selection, also opting out of the inaugural WBBL with Perth Scorchers.
However she continued to play in Victorian Premier Cricket, claiming the competition’s highest accolade - the Una Paisley Medal - last season after scoring 578 runs in only seven matches, while she also impressed in her Women’s AFL debut for Melbourne last month.
With more than 100 international matches under her belt, Cameron’s inclusion will add vital batting power to the Stars’ line-up, after they relied heavily on the input of Lanning.
The Stars missed out on the WBBL finals despite boasting the WBBL|01 player of the tournament in Lanning, who was the competition’s leading run-scorer with 560 runs in 14 matches.
"We need a bit more batting depth, people who can bat around 120 strike rate and get the game moving,” Lanning told cricket.com.au.
"I thought our bowlers did really well last season and restricting sides but we weren’t able to do well enough with the bat certain games.
"We’ve got the players who can do it but we need it consistently."
The Stars have also re-signed right-arm medium pace bowler Emma Kearney, who is also looking forward to pulling on the green uniform again.
"It’s great to have the Australian captain leading the Stars again. It goes without saying that Meg’s a very talented player and is an important part of the Stars and the direction we want to take,” Stars coach David Hemp said.
"We’re excited to have Jess Cameron on board. She has a wealth of international playing experience and will, without doubt, bolster our batting depth.
"It’s also great to have Emma re-sign with us. She is economical with the ball and demonstrates a lot of qualities that we endeavour to embody at the Stars."