Devine intervention: Scorchers reveal signing coup
The world's top-ranked T20 allrounder Sophie Devine joins No.1 T20 batter Beth Mooney at the Scorchers
5 August 2020, 10:00 AM AEST
Superstar New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine will join Australia opener Beth Mooney to form one of the most potent opening partnerships ever seen in the Rebel WBBL.
After speculation last month, the Perth Scorchers have confirmed Devine will captain the club in WBBL|06, after last summer's WBBL Player of the Tournament ended her five-year association with the Adelaide Strikers.
It means the Scorchers have now signed the two leading run scorers from WBBL|05; Devine struck 769 at a strike rate of 130.33 for the Strikers while Mooney hit 743 at 125.08 for the Brisbane Heat.
One of the game's most explosive batters, Devine hit 29 sixes last season, while she collected 19 wickets with her right-arm pace.
Our new #MADETOUGH skipper! 🙌 https://t.co/McrGYj8XgZ #DevineIntervention pic.twitter.com/Yl5UGpyWUQ— Perth Scorchers (@ScorchersBBL) August 5, 2020
The recruitment coup is the biggest in the league's history since the Sydney Sixers landed both Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy ahead of WBBL|01 and more than makes up for the loss of former captain Meg Lanning to the Melbourne Stars.
In the five years since the WBBL was launched, only superstar allrounder Perry has scored more runs than Mooney and Devine, who are currently the world's top-ranked T20I batter and allrounder respectively.
In her five seasons with the Strikers Devine struck 2174 runs at a strike rate of 129.4 and has hit 88 sixes – a remarkable 30 more than her nearest rival Ashleigh Gardner.
She has also made her mark off the field, bringing players from all the Big Bash clubs together to raise valuable money for charity through her headband and zinc challenges.
Devine has been in career-best form over the past 12 months, a period that saw her named New Zealand captain and become the first player to hit six consecutive T20 half-centuries.
That purple patch included a 65-ball 105 against South Africa.
"It's a huge honour to be joining the Scorchers and leading the side this season, it's an exciting new challenge for me and the team as we build towards the WBBL finals," Devine said.
"When the opportunity to play for Perth came up it was a pretty hard one to turn down, the Scorchers have a great history in the WBBL and BBL and I'm really looking forward to joining such a successful club."
Devine already has strong ties to Western Australia.
She held a WA state contract in 2019-20, playing four Women's National Cricket League matches for the state after spending the southern winter training at the WACA – a move she credited for her incredible run of form last summer.
"I have spent some quality time in the WA set-up, which has really helped me further my game and I am looking forward to playing under (coach) Shelley Nitschke, we have a great relationship and I have played a lot of cricket with her too over my years with the Strikers," the allrounder said.
The Scorchers have now locked in seven players for WBBL|06 – which is scheduled to start on October 17 and run until November 29 – with room for two more overseas players on their list alongside Devine.
"Sophie has proven herself as one of the best T20 players in the world, we are privileged to have her join the Perth Scorchers," said Nitschke, who is also Australia's assistant coach.
"Sophie has been a dominant force in the WBBL since its inception and has over a decade of international experience, we're excited about the leadership she will provide both on and off the field in her role as team captain."
Scorchers squad so far: Jemma Barsby, Nicole Bolton, Piepa Cleary, Sophie Devine (NZ), Heather Graham, Emma King, Beth Mooney (Aus)
WBBL|06 Marquees (so far)
Adelaide Strikers: Megan Schutt, Tahlia McGrath (both Aus), Suzie Bates (NZ)
Brisbane Heat: Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince (both Aus), Maddy Green, Amelia Kerr (both NZ)
Hobart Hurricanes: Nicola Carey, Tayla Vlaeminck (both Aus), Hayley Matthews (WI), Rachel Priest (NZ), Chloe Tryon (SA)
Melbourne Renegades: Lizelle Lee (SA), Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham (both Aus)
Melbourne Stars: Meg Lanning, Annabel Sutherland (both Aus)
Perth Scorchers: Beth Mooney (Aus), Sophie Devine (NZ)
Sydney Sixers: Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner (all Aus), Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk (both SA)
Sydney Thunder: Rachael Haynes (Aus)