Double trouble: Scorchers set for huge WBBL coup
Sophie Devine set to join Beth Mooney in heading west, giving Perth last summer's two leading WBBL batters
22 July 2020, 06:15 PM AEST
Perth Scorchers are set to pull off one of the biggest coups in the history of the Rebel WBBL as they look to poach last summer's two highest run-scorers.
Australia opener and world No.1 ranked T20 batter Beth Mooney had already been linked with a move west, as reported by cricket.com.au earlier this month.
That signing by itself would go a long way to plugging the hole left by Meg Lanning, who confirmed her switch to the Melbourne Stars today.
But in a move that will rock the competition, the Scorchers also appear likely to land the signature of reigning WBBL player of the tournament Sophie Devine, first reported in The West Australian.
New Zealand captain Devine, whose contract with Adelaide Strikers ended last season, produced the best individual season in the competition’s history in WBBL|05, scoring 769 runs at 76.9 and collecting 19 wickets at 20.68.
Between them, Mooney and Devine struck 1512 runs during WBBL|05, with the latter’s Strikers finishing runners-up to Mooney’s Heat.
Mooney’s 743 runs at 74.3 saw her finish second to Devine in the voting for player of the tournament as she helped Brisbane claim back-to-back titles.
In the five years since the WBBL was launched, only superstar allrounder Ellyse Perry has scored more runs than Mooney and Devine.
If the Scorchers do pull off the double, new coach Shelley Nitschke will have a strong foundation to build on in her first season at the helm with former Australia opener Nicole Bolton and allrounder Heather Graham already on the books for the upcoming season.
The Scorchers declined to comment.
Devine has been with the Strikers since their inaugural season, but also has strong ties to Western Australia.
She held a WA state contract in 2019-20, playing four Women’s National Cricket League matches for the state after spending the southern winter training at the WACA – a move she credited for her incredible run of form last summer.
The powerful allrounder, who struck a competition record five consecutive sixes last season, was confirmed as New Zealand’s full-time captain last week. She had filled the position during the T20 World Cup earlier this year in place of former leader Amy Satterthwaite, who was on maternity leave.
Lanning is returning to her former club Melbourne Stars after three years with the Scorchers.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the 28-year-old predicted this off-season could see more player movement than ever before.
"I think there’ll potentially be quite a bit of movement this year … that’s a really exciting thing for the competition that people are willing to move for opportunity and there is plenty of opportunity."