Johnson returns home as Kiwi veteran joins Tassie
Sammy-Jo Johnson and Rachel Priest join NSW and Tasmania respectively ahead of this season’s Women’s National Cricket League
18 June 2020, 10:25 AM AEST
Fast bowler Sammy-Jo Johnson has returned to her home state, joining the NSW Breakers after nine years in Queensland.
Johnson, a key part of the Brisbane Heat side that has won back-to-back Rebel WBBL titles, will move to Sydney to join the Breakers in 50-over cricket, while her future in the Big Bash remains unclear.
Johnson is currently uncontracted with the Heat, who face a battle to re-sign all their top talent after two successful seasons.
Big Bash clubs are currently unable to sign players due to the contracting embargo period.
Meanwhile, New Zealand veteran Rachel Priest has joined Tasmania for the upcoming season having confirmed her retirement from international cricket.
Priest, who played for the White Ferns at this year’s World Cup, was not offered a national contract earlier this month.
"Having been involved in the White Ferns environment for 13 years, most of it enjoyable, it is with much consideration that I have decided to retire from international cricket," Priest said.
"I am really looking forward to the next chapter of my cricketing journey with Cricket Tasmania and the Tigers program and feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity."
Tasmania announced their full contract list earlier this month.
Johnson is part of a 17-strong Breakers squad that features eight players under 20, including teenage sensation Phoebe Litchfield, while Naomi Stalenberg has already confirmed her switch to Tasmania.
"I'm a Lismore girl and played all my underage Pathway cricket with NSW, so it feels a bit like I’m coming home," Johnson said.
"I spent nine wonderful years in Brisbane playing for the Fire and I’m very grateful for the opportunities Queensland Cricket gave me.
"The stars have aligned for my partner Brian and I. He has been a great support to my cricket career and now I can support him with an opportunity that has arisen in Sydney."
The Breakers, who will again be captained by Australia star Alyssa Healy, have won 20 of the past 24 Women’s National Cricket League titles.
Cricket Australia announced yesterday that the length of the WNCL would remain unchanged this summer, after a shorter season had been proposed as part of cost-cutting measures.
The fixture for the 2020-21 domestic season is expected to be announced next month.
NSW Breakers 2020-21 squad: Alyssa Healy (c)*, Rachael Haynes*, Ashleigh Gardner*, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Hannah Darlington, Lisa Griffith, Emma Hughes, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson
*Cricket Australia contracted