Cross-code star Duffin to make Renegades return

Cross-code star Jess Duffin says she has unfinished business in cricket with an eye on the Renegades' maiden WBBL title

Former international Jess Duffin has announced her return to professional cricket, declaring she has “unfinished business” in the game after a period dedicated to playing in the AFLW.

Duffin will recommence her cricket career for the Melbourne Renegades in Weber WBBL|09, less than six months after giving birth to her second child.

The 34-year-old juggled football and cricket commitments for a number of seasons until 2022, when the AFLW’s decision to move to an August-November window – running parallel with WBBL|08 – meant it was no longer a workable option and she dedicated her time solely to the Hawthorn Football Club.

However she decided to hang up the boots at the end of 2022 having played for the Hawks, North Melbourne and Collingwood, and after welcoming her second child to the world in May, is ready to pull on the red again.

"I’m really excited to be coming home to the Renegades and to be back playing cricket,” she said after re-signing with the ‘Gades.

"I’ve been able to juggle both sports at different stages of my career, but with the seasons overlapping last year, it wasn’t possible to commit to both.

"I still feel like I have unfinished business in cricket, particularly with this group at the Renegades.

"The club has been a great support to me over the years. I’m looking forward to reuniting with ‘Helmo’ (coach Simon Helmot) and the playing group and would love to be part of the club’s first WBBL championship team."

Duffin (then Jess Cameron) debuted for Australia in 2009 as a teenager and was part of the 2010, 2012 (in which she was player of the match) and 2014 ICC T20 World Cup-winning sides, as well as the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup team.

Duffin (then Jess Cameron) celebrates winning the 2014 T20 World Cup with Ellyse Perry (left) // Getty

In 2012-13 she claimed the Belinda Clark Award for the best international Australian women’s player that season.

She has represented her country 117 times, the last appearance coming in August 2015.

Shortly after, she took a break from the game and sat out the inaugural WBBL season before joining the Melbourne Stars for WBBL|02.

However the following season she was lured to the Renegades where she became a stalwart, eventually captaining the club.

She remains the Renegades’ third-highest ever run-scorer.

"Jess has been part of our Renegades family for a long period of time now and we’re delighted to have her returning this season," General Manager James Rosengarten said.

"She is a fantastic person and leader, who will help to drive the positive culture that’s been built over the last couple of years. On the field, she’s a real competitor and brings a wealth of experience, which is invaluable in T20 cricket.

"Jess is a much-loved figure within our playing group and we can’t wait to see her back in action this summer."

Melbourne Renegades WBBL|09 Squad (so far): Sophie Molineux (c), Sarah Coyte, Jess Duffin, Ella Hayward, Ellie Falconer, Georgia Prestwidge, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.