The Melbourne Renegades have strengthened their playing stocks for the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League, signing promising young off-spinner Molly Strano and allrounder Nicola Hancock.
The pair were among five home-grown recruits unveiled by the club on Monday, alongside Sophie Molineux, Cassie Brock and Kirsty Lamb.
Strano announced herself as one of the top specialist T20 spinners in the country last season, topping the wicket-taking in the women’s domestic T20 competition with 22 wickets at 12.59.
Quick single: Domestic shuffle sets up intriguing contest
Her talents also earned her a place in the Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars squad in 2014-15.
“I’m thrilled to sign for the Renegades and I can’t wait to be in red this season,” Strano said.
“We’ve got some really good players who I’m looking forward to having as team mates and learning from the senior players.”
Hancock, a fast bowler and powerful middle order batter, was selected in the Shooting Stars squad for a tour of Dubai earlier this year where she played against the England Academy, while talented 17-year-old Sophie Molineux is one of the state’s brightest young talents.
Molineux, a top-order batter and left-arm spinner who captained Victoria’s under-18s, was named player of the series at the Under-18 National Championships when she was 16, finishing with 155 runs and 19 wickets - at an incredible average of just 3.9 – for the tournament.
Lamb is an aggressive all-rounder whose leadership credentials were recognised at an early age when she was handed the captaincy of premier club Plenty Valley at age 19.
Quick single: All the WBBL signings so far
She holds the highest career strike rate (153.65) in Australian domestic Twenty20s and has regularly opened the bowling for Victoria with her left-arm pace, while leg-spinning allrounder Brock has represented Victoria 16 times since 2010.
Cassie Brock will wear red in WBBL|01 // Getty Images
Renegades WBBL coach Lachlan Stevens said he was pleased with the Renegades young talent.
“There’s certainly a no-fear factor with these players and you need elements of that in T20 cricket,” Stevens said.
“They’re young, talented and hungry to win which is what we want. With the experienced international players we’ve signed, it’s an exciting mix for the opening season.”
The quintet will join former Southern Stars Test representative Sarah Elliott, England all-rounder Danni Wyatt, New Zealand wicketkeeper Rachel Priest and South African opening batsman Dane Van Niekerk in the Renegades squad for the inaugural WBBL season.
Melbourne Renegades: Sarah Elliott, Danni Wyatt (England), Rachel Priest (New Zealand ), Dane Van Niekerk (South Africa), Molly Strano, Nicola Hancock, Sophie Molineux, Cassie Brock, Kirsty Lamb