World Cup star Mooney set for Scorchers move
EXCLUSIVE: Gun Australia opener set to sign for Perth in the Rebel WBBL, departing Brisbane Heat following back-to-back titles
8 July 2020, 06:02 PM AEST
Out-of-contract Australia star Beth Mooney is set to make the Perth Scorchers her home for the upcoming Rebel WBBL season.
Mooney’s deal with reigning champions Brisbane Heat, the club she helped to back-to-back titles across the past two seasons, expired following their triumph at Allan Border Field in December, and cricket.com.au understands the Scorchers are set to land one of the country’s most prized signatures.
The contracting period for WBBL|06 has not yet started, but if the 26-year-old Queenslander does sign on the dotted line for Perth when the embargo lifts - potentially later this month - it will go a long way to filling the gaping hole in their batting line-up should Australian captain Meg Lanning return to Victoria as expected.
Lanning has been linked to a move back to the Melbourne Stars, the team she led through the first two WBBL seasons, after three summers with the Scorchers.
Mooney was named the T20 World Cup player of the tournament in March after posting 259 runs at 64.75 during Australia’s successful campaign on home soil, capping an outstanding summer.
The left-hander was also the second highest run scorer in WBBL|05, with her 743 runs at 74.3 second only to New Zealand star Sophie Devine’s 769 for the Strikers.
Should Mooney become a Scorcher she would be reunited with Australian assistant coach Shelley Nitschke, who takes over as Perth coach this summer following Lisa Keightley’s appointment to the England job late last year, as well as former Australian teammate Nicole Bolton.
The Heat and Scorchers both declined to comment on the move when contacted by cricket.com.au amid the ongoing contracting embargo.
In April, Mooney spoke of the big decision that lay ahead.
"I’ve had a few really good offers from different clubs," she said at the time.
"I haven’t really got anywhere with a decision yet, but as I said at the end of the last Big Bash season, it would take a lot for me to not be playing at Brisbane.
"But there’s also plenty of opportunity out there to play with different people and under different coaches, so I’ll keep my options open and hopefully have a decision in the next couple of weeks.
"I’ve loved my time at Brisbane … but I‘ve not been involved in any other program, apart from the Australian one, and it would be nice to see how different organisations operate.
"It’ll be a big decision either way, but hopefully I make the right one."
Mooney and Lanning are not the only big-name Australian stars out of contract ahead of WBBL|06.
The Heat currently have just one member of the squad that claimed back-to-back titles on the books – Australian allrounder Delissa Kimmince – with others including Jess Jonassen, Grace Harris and Sammy-Jo Johnson all out of contract.
Down south, up-and-coming allrounder Sophie Molineux is out of contract at Melbourne Renegades.
Ellyse Perry was expected to be another huge name up for grabs this winter, but the superstar allrounder confirmed in May she would remain at the Sydney Sixers.