Brisbane Heat have secured the services of Australian opener Beth Mooney for the next three Rebel WBBL seasons.
Mooney is 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 Moratorium of Understanding.
Mooney was named WBBL|02 player of the tournament last summer after scoring 482 runs at 43.81, including five half-centuries.
The wicketkeeper-batter, who also snared 12 dismissals behind the stumps including 12 stumpings, before translating that form into a successful run with the bat at the top of the order for Australia, with one century and four fifties under her belt already in 2017.
"It’s really exciting,” Mooney said. “Just the opportunity to be offered a multi-year contract and being able to sign for three years is something I’m really excited about.
"I’m looking forward to where that group can go in that three-year period and what we can achieve."
Brisbane made the semi-finals in WBBL|02 before being knocked out of contention by eventual title-winners Sydney Sixers.
"One of the main reasons I said yes to a three-year deal is because I think the group we have is a wonderful group of players,” he said.
"Hopefully we can keep that core group the same over the next little bit.”
Heat coach Peter McGiffin said Mooney consistently set an outstanding example for her Heat teammates.
"It’s been brilliant to see Beth go from strength to strength over the past few years to the point where she is one of our country’s premier players, especially in the WBBL where she has been a stand-out,’" McGiffen said.
"She sets an outstanding example to other players with her work ethic and her determination to be better at everything she does. I’m looking forward to working closely with her as we get nearer to the season and our squad takes shape."
Mooney’s might be the first signing ahead of WBBL|03, but a flurry of activity is expected as clubs lock down their stars for the upcoming season.
On Monday, Melbourne Stars announced they had parted ways with captain Meg Lanning, with the Australian skipper opting to seek opportunities at another WBBL club.
Lanning has been ruled out of WBBL|03 after undergoing shoulder surgery, but the world’s best batter would be an in demand and expected to sign a multi-year deal.
The 25-year-old is being tipped to sign with another club as early as this week.
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT