Mair’s weird and wonderful WBBL|06 journey
New Zealand pace bowler Rosemary Mair has represented three WBBL teams in a season like no other after landing as a replacement player
20 November 2020, 11:43 AM AEST
Of all the bizarre circumstances to come out of the Rebel WBBL season played in a Sydney hub, Rosemary Mair’s is one of the more extraordinary.
The 22-year-old New Zealand pace bowler holds the unique claim to fame of being the first WBBL player to line up for two different clubs in the space of one season – all while living and training with a third.
Mair is one of four White Ferns who make up the overseas replacement player ‘pool’ for WBBL|06, alongside Holly Huddleston, Lauren Down and Katie Perkins.
Their inclusion was a measure aimed at providing back-up for clubs whose frontline internationals became injured or required management, with the hub’s bio-secure rules and border restrictions preventing new players from entering.
Each of the four were given a host club to train with, and whose hotel floor they would reside on – in Mair’s case, it was the Scorchers.
The right-armer had been housed with Perth for just five days before she was officially added to the Melbourne Stars’ list, replacing Katherine Brunt who was unavailable for the opening weekend of the tournament.
Mair made her Stars debut on October 25, before returning to the pool. A week later, the Renegades came knocking, seeking cover for Lea Tahuhu’s side strain.
A second cap presentation followed, with Mair playing five games in red prior to Tahuhu’s return, then was promptly re-signed by the Stars, rolling out in green just three days after her final appearance for the Renegades.
From one New Zealander to another: Lea Tahuhu presents new Renegade Rosemary Mair with her first @WBBL cap #GETONRED pic.twitter.com/bhpBcR1swI— Renegades WBBL (@RenegadesWBBL) November 3, 2020
The strangest part, Mair told cricket.com.au, was twice playing against the Scorchers, once for the Renegades on November 14, and then for the Stars on November 17.
"It was weird, I’d go back to my floor with the Scorchers after playing against them," she laughed.
"But it’s been really good, I’ve made lots of friends and everyone has been really welcoming.
"Getting a win with both (Melbourne) teams was really good and being able to contribute."
Being part of three different clubs came with the obvious challenge of maintaining professionalism despite being privy to the game plans of each team.
But it also gave Mair a unique opportunity to work with three different coaches in the Scorchers’ Shelley Nitschke, the Renegades’ Lachlan Stevens and the Stars’ Trent Woodhill.
"It’s been interesting working with different coaches and seeing the different approaches to trainings and the whole team set-up," Mair said.
"Some are very relaxed, and some have a great plan of what they want their team to do, it’s different but all work quite well for their teams.
"It was a bit weird, but it was good to get some game time over here and not just be training all the time."
The chance to play under Australia and Stars captain Meg Lanning was a highlight for Mair, who collected 3-30 in her sole bowling performances for the club – against the Scorchers no less – while picking up five wickets during her time at the Renegades and helping them to victory over the Thunder.
"It’s so strange but she’s coped with it so well," Lanning said of Mair following her performance against the Scorcher.
"It must be quite daunting walking into different teams and not knowing where you stand sometimes, but she came in really well with a smile on her face and held her nerve."
Mair is set to spend her final days in the hub with the Scorchers before returning to New Zealand on Monday.
Having arrived in Australia on September 9 with the New Zealand squad, and with three new sets of kit acquired in the Village, packing is looming as a difficult task.
"I’ve been given a bit of stick about how much gear I have and how I’m going to get it all home. I might have to pick and choose because I’ve got some pretty full bags from being here for three months," she said.
Mair will be the last of the four replacement players to leave the Village, after Down, Perkins and Huddleston departed Australian shores earlier this week.
Their early exits were due to New Zealand’s ‘managed isolation allocation system’ which requires residents to secure a voucher for a place in hotel quarantine before boarding a flight home.
Vouchers are in hot demand due to a pre-Christmas rush, meaning the quartet needed to grasp what was available or risk remaining in Australia until mid-December, and potentially not being released from quarantine until after Christmas, or even the new year.
Another New Zealander leaving on Monday is Strikers captain Suzie Bates, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury and requires surgery which is set to sideline her for six to nine months.
Renegades pair Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu have also secured a voucher and flight for November 23.
Previously, they had been looking at being able to catch a flight no earlier than December 13 – which would have seen their 11-month old daughter Grace’s first Christmas spent in hotel quarantine.
The New Zealanders still in the running for finals are Heat pair Maddy Green and Amelia Kerr, and Scorchers captain Sophie Devine.