Scorchers add firepower with overseas superstars
Marizanne Kapp has a new home in the west, while Chamari Athapaththu will join a strong Perth top order for WBBL|07
18 June 2021, 10:09 AM AEST
Perch Scorchers have snared the signatures of two of the game’s most exciting players, with star South African allrounder Marizanne Kapp and Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu joining their ranks for WBBL|07.
Kapp, the world’s top-ranked ODI allrounder, crosses from the Sydney Sixers, where she claimed 90 wickets and helped the magenta team take out two titles in six seasons.
The 31-year-old’s fiery pace will give the Scorchers a boost with the ball as they aim to improve on back-to-back semi-final appearances, while her aggressive stroke play will strengthen the middle order.
"I’m really excited, I think the change was needed and I think I’m starting to play some of my best cricket," said Kapp, who will find herself in the unfamiliar position of playing against Proteas teammate and wife Dane van Niekerk this upcoming season, should she find a home after her exit from the Sixers."
Hard-hitting top-order batter Athapaththu, who has previously turned out for the Melbourne Renegades, thrives in Australian conditions.
Two of the left-hander’s six international centuries have come on Australian soil; she smacked 113 from 66 balls in a T20 International at North Sydney Oval in 2019, following up with 103 in an ODI an Allan Border Field one week later.
She also showed a liking for the WACA Ground during last year’s T20 World Cup, scoring a 38-ball 50 against the hosts.
"Perth is like my second home, I have (family and friends) who live in Perth," Athapaththu said.
"I have good memories in Australia. I love the conditions and playing against Australian bowlers, there's good pace and bounce."
Kapp and Athapaththu fill two of the Scorchers’ three overseas slots for WBBL|07, while the Scorchers would be hopeful last year’s captain, Sophie Devine, will return for a second campaign in orange.
"Marizanne is one of the premier allrounders in world cricket and has a phenomenal WBBL record," Perth Scorchers Women’s head coach Shelley Nitschke said.
"With over a decade of international experience and a highly-regarded work ethic, Marizanne will have a strong impact both on and off field for the Scorchers.
"Chamari Athapaththu is an undeniable match-winner and has the ability to take the game away from the opposition quickly."
Batter Amy Jones and leg-spinner Sarah Glenn are unlikely to return this season, due to England’s limited-overs tour of Pakistan in October and the ongoing quarantine requirements for international arrivals in Australia, which would make England squad members unavailable for the majority of the season.
The proximity to the start of the Ashes in late January – which will also require a two-week quarantine period for the English squad – is another factor.
The WBBL|07 schedule is expected to be revealed next month.
Perth Scorchers WBBL|07 squad so far: Beth Mooney, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Chamari Athapaththu (SL), Heather Graham, Taneale Peschel, Piepa Cleary