Cricket's biggest stars sign on for WBBL01
As the first season of the Women's Big Bash League draws closer, here's a comprehensive look at how the teams are shaping up
Laura Jolly previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and is now cricket.com.au Women's Cricket Editor providing dedicated coverage to all aspects of the women's game
The biggest names in women's cricket have signed on to be part of the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League.
Since the first major signings for the new league were announced in July, all eight rebel WBBL clubs have been busy filling their rosters with a mix of local, international and emerging talent.
Each of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars have now revealed where they will be playing in WBBL|01, while an astonishing 17 international players have signed on to be part of the competition.
Ashes foes will become friends with eight members of England’s women’s team including captain Charlotte Edwards and star wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor joining the rebel WBBL action, while New Zealand will field three players in the competition, alongside players from West Indies and South Africa.
Two legends of the Australian women’s game – Lisa Sthalekar and Shelley Nitschke – have also been coaxed out of retirement by the prospect of playing in the star-studded tournament.
When the competition kicks off on Saturday, December 5, all clubs will have a squad of 14 players, with teams allowed to sign up to five current or recent Southern Stars, or up to three overseas players in place of the equivalent number of Australian players.
Here’s a comprehensive look at how WBBL|01 is shaping up:
The Adelaide Strikers have gained the prize signature of England wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor, the youngest female cricketer to score 1000 runs in ODIs and the current holder of the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year Award.
Taylor was a member of the Breezair SA Scorpions last summer and joins Southern Stars quicks Megan Schutt and Sarah Coyte at the Strikers.
She scored a century to lead the Scorpions to their first ever WNCL title in November and will be one to watch.
The Strikers have also secured the services of New Zealand international Sophie Devine, and bolstered their batting line-up with SA locals Bridget Patterson and Tegan McPharlin.
Southern Stars legend Shelley Nitschke will also dust off her kit bag after being lured out of retirement by the Strikers.
Nitschke called time on her international and domestic career in 2011, having played six Tests, 80 ODIs and 36 Twenty20s in a career that saw her named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2010, while she earned the Australian Women's International Player of the Year award on four consecutive occasions.
She helped the Southern Stars to victory in the 2005 Women’s World Cup and 2010 Women’s World T20, and was the world’s leading T20 wicket-taker and Australia’s leading T20 runs-scorer when she retired.
Having scored 3118 international runs across all formats and taken 153 wickets with her left-arm spin, Nitschke’s experience and expertise will be priceless at the Strikers, where she will take up a dual role as an assistant coach to mentor Andrea McCauley.
Adelaide Strikers: Sarah Coyte, Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Tegan McPharlin, Shelley Nitschke, Bridget Patterson, Megan Schutt, Sarah Taylor (England).
The Heat will have their own ‘star’ quality to call on for the inaugural rebel WBBL this summer.
Southern Stars allrounders Jessica Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince and Grace Harris will add style and power to the Heat squad, while Australian fast bowler Holly Ferling and Southern Stars contracted wicketkeeper Beth Mooney are also part of a formidable squad.
Add to that the talents of England internationals Lauren Winfield and Kate Cross, Australian Under-23 Shooting Stars squad member Jemma Barsby, former Australian captain Jodie Fields and their Queensland Fire teammate Courtney Hill, and the Heat have one star-studded line-up.
The Heat also made possibly the most surprising signing of WBBL|01, with former professional tennis player Ash Barty switching sports and signing with the Heat.
The 19-year-old Ipswich was signed just a matter of months after she approached Queensland Cricket to explore her options of making a switch in sports.
Pace bowling allrounder Sammy-Jo Johnson, batting allrounder Kirby Short and batter Megan White were the final three players named in the 14-player squad.
Brisbane Heat: Jessica Jonassen, Grace Harris, Beth Mooney, Courtney Hill, Jodie Fields, Jemma Barsby, Holly Ferling, Delissa Kimmince, Kate Cross (International), Lauren Winfield (International), Ash Barty, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Megan White.
Hobart scored a big win when they lured teenage West Indies star Hayley Matthews to the Cane Train for WBBL|01.
The explosive allrounder, 17, is one of the youngest players in the competition and will add international star-power to a squad also boasting the talents of England batter Heather Knight and White Fern Amy Satterthwaite.
Former Southern Stars pace bowler Julie Hunter was the first player named by Hobart, who will be coached by Julia Price, while the squad also features a wealth of local Tasmanian talent.
Hobart Hurricanes: Julie Hunter, Heather Knight (England), Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Katelyn Fryett, Veronica Pyke, Brooke Hepburn, Meg Phillips, Sasha Moloney, Amy Satterthwaite (New Zealand), Emma Thompson, Erin Burns, Emily Smith, Celeste Raack, Corinne Hall
The Renegades have secured three big international names with England all-rounder Danni Wyatt (above right), New Zealand wicketkeeper Rachel Priest and South African opener Dane van Niekerk signings on for the inaugural WBBL.
The trio will join Australian Test representative Sarah Elliott at the Renegades, creating the foundation of a strong squad.
Wyatt will be familiar to Victorian crowds, having played for the Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit during the 2011-12 season.
The right-arm off-spinner has played 89 internationals for England since making her debut against India in 2010.
Wicketkeeper Priest will bring a wealth of international experience to the Renegades having played 112 matches for New Zealand since 2007, while Van Niekerk is an attacking top order player, currently opening the batting in the T20 format, and a very effective leg spinner, having captured 115 international wickets.
The Renegades also signed promising young off-spinner Molly Strano, along with fellow home-grown recruits Briana Binch (above left), Nicola Hancock, Sophie Molineux, Cassie Brock and Kirsty Lamb.
Melbourne Renegades: Sarah Elliott, Dane Van Niekerk (South Africa), Danielle Wyatt (England), Rachel Priest (New Zealand), Cassie Brock, Nicola Hancock, Molly Strano, Sophie Molineux, Kris Britt, Jenny Taffs, Erica Kershaw, Kirsty Lamb, Briana Binch, Georgia Wareham.
The Stars won the battle for one of the biggest names in women’s cricket – Australian captain and world No.1 ranked batter Meg Lanning.
Lanning will lead a strong squad featuring the international trio of England allrounder Natalie Sciver, South African captain Mignon du Preez and New Zealand left-arm bowler Morna Nielsen.
Sciver was named player of the match twice during the Ashes, scoring 66 in a one-dayer against Australia and leading England to victory in the third T20 when she scored a career-high 47 and claimed her best T20 bowling figures with 4-15.
South Africa’s du Preez will bring a wealth of experience to the Stars’ line-up having represented her country on 117 occasions, while Nielseon is currently ranked as the world’s third best T20 bowler on the International Cricket Council player rankings and will play a vital role with her left-arm orthodox.
All-rounder Anna Lanning - Meg's younger sister - wicketkeeper Emma Inglis and multi-talented Emma Kearney will also represent Team Green.
Melbourne Stars: Meg Lanning, Kelly Applebee, Kristen Beams, Mignon du Preez (South Africa), Kathleen Hempenstall, Emma Inglis, Emma Kearney, Alana King, Anna Lanning, Katie Mack, Morna Nielsen (New Zealand), Natalie Sciver (England), Gemma Triscari, Hayley Jensen (New Zealand), Lily Bardsley.
Australian opener Nicole Bolton has been named the inaugural captain of Perth Scorchers, while the club has also secured the prized signatures of New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates and England captain Charlotte Edwards.
England quick Katherine Brunt will also wear orange in WBBL|01, and when Bates in unavailable on White Ferns duties, big-hitting West Indies allrounder Deandra Dottin – the self-proclaimed ‘female Chris Gayle’ – will step in.
The strong Scorchers line-up will also feature Bolton’s international opening partner Elyse Villani, alongside former England fast bowler Nicky Shaw and Shooting Stars Megan Banting, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham and Chloe Piparo.
They will be joined by Perth locals Emma Biss and Emma King,and Alcohol. Think Again Western Fury wicketkeeper Jenny Wallace.
Perth Scorchers: Nicole Bolton, Megan Banting, Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Emma Biss, Katherine Brunt (England), Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Piepa Cleary, Charlotte Edwards (England), Heather Graham, Emma King, Chloe Piparo, Nicky Shaw, Elyse Villani, Jenny Wallace
The Sydney Sixers will boast two of Australian cricket’s biggest stars in allrounder Ellyse Perry and wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy.
The Sixers have also lured Australian legend Lisa Sthalekar out of retirement, and has signed with Sydney Sixers for the inaugural season of the WBBL.
Young gun allrounder Emily Leys will also wear pink in WBBL|01, while the Sixers have also secured a solid group of young NSW talent.
Just days out from the WBBL opener, the Sydney Sixers announced the signing of three internationals to complete their squad for the inaugural season.
Veteran New Zealander Sara McGlashan, South African allrounder Marizanne Kapp and English spinner Laura Marsh are the final three players named to pull on the magenta top this season, ensuring a stellar line-up for the Sydney-based club.
Sydney Sixers: Sarah Aley, Rhiannon Dick, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Sara Hungerford, Emily Leys, Ellyse Perry, Ange Reakes, Lauren Smith, Lisa Sthalekar, Kara Sutherland, Sara McGlashan (New Zealand), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Laura Marsh (England)
Sydney Thunder have signed a wealth Ashes-winning talent to their squad, with the recruitment of Southern Stars vice-captain Alex Blackwell, off-spinner Erin Osborne and fast bowler Rene Farrell for WBBL|01.
The Thunder have also signed some of New South Wales’ most exciting young players in Lauren Cheatle, Stef Daffara, Nicola Carey, Naomi Stalenberg and Mikayla Hinkley.
The Thunder have yet to reveal their internationals, so stand by for news on that front.
Sydney Thunder: Alex Blackwell, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Stefanie Daffara, Rene Farrell, Mikayla Hinkley, Rachael Haynes, Claire Koski, Erin Osborne, Naomi Stalenberg, Belinda Vakarewa
WBBL|01 Fast Facts
Total games: 59
Duration: 51 days
First game: Saturday December 5, Brisbane Heat vs Melbourne Stars at Junction Oval, Melbourne
First Sydney derby: Sunday December 6, Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium, Sydney
First Melbourne derby: Saturday January 2, Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades, MCG
WBBL final: Sunday January 24
Quota for Southern Stars' representatives per team: five
Quota for foreign cricketers per team: three
CA's 'Women's Payment Fund' for wages: $2.26 million
Retainers for WBBL players: $3000-$10,000 per campaign
Follow the Women's Big Bash League on Twitter!
Adelaide Strikers - @StrikersWBBL
Brisbane Heat - @HeatWBBL
Hobart Hurricanes - @HurricanesWBBL
Melbourne Renegades - @RenegadesWBBL
Melbourne Stars - @StarsWBBL
Perth Scorchers - @ScorchersWBBL
Sydney Sixers - @SixersWBBL
Sydney Thunder - @ThunderWBBL