Queensland Fire will be without captain Jodie Fields for the start of the Women’s National Cricket League season, but the veteran is optimistic fill-in skipper Delissa Kimmince will lead the team admirably in her stead.
After undergoing shoulder surgery during the off-season, Fields is scheduled to return to the helm of the Konica Minolta Fire for the latter half of the season.
“Dee is experienced, she leads well and she’s determined so the girls will have no problems getting the job done with her in charge in the middle,” Fields said.
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The Fire led the WNCL for much of the 2014-15 before being knocked out in the semi-finals by the Breezeair SA Scorpions.
Earning a place in the 50-over competition’s final – and breaking the Lend Lease NSW Breakers’ 10-year championship streak – will be the goal, with the Fire’s ranks boosted by the addition of left-arm fast-bowler Kara Sutherland, who has moved from NSW.
Kara Sutherland is a promising young talent // Getty Images
Sutherland is originally from Grafton in northern NSW, and was a Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars Under-23 squad representative last season.
The 23-year-old, who played for Kent in England county cricket during the winter, started training with the Fire last week and will be keen to push for a spot in the opening round of the WNCL on October 9.
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While the Fire will miss Fields – who topped their run scoring in 2014-15 – during the first half of the season, they will be hopeful of another strong season from allrounder Jess Jonassen, who was named WNCL Player of the Year in 2014-15 despite missing the latter parts of the season due to knee surgery.
The impressive international debut of another allrounder, Grace Harris, during the Women’s Ashes is another good sign for the 2014-15 semi-finalists, who also boast fellow Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Holly Ferling and Kimmince in their ranks.
Queensland Fire: Jodie Fields (c), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Jemma Barsby, Kara Sutherland, Courtney Hill, Kirby Short, Haidee Birkett, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Georgia Prestwidge, Taylah Brotherston, Kelsie Minty