Former Perth Scorchers captain and New Zealand international star Suzie Bates will swap burnt orange for electric blue this season after signing on with the Strikers for WBBL|03.
The New Zealand captain, who led the Perth Scorchers through to the final in WBBL|02, will join compatriot and fellow allrounder Sophie Devine in Adelaide for the summer.
Bates, who also bowls medium-pace, last year became the first cricketer to be named the ICC Women’s One-Day International and Twenty20 International player of the year.
Her outstanding form has continued in 2017, with the former Olympic basketballer scoring the most runs for New Zealand in this year’s Women’s World Cup, collecting 242 runs in five innings including an unbeaten 106.
“I have always loved visiting Adelaide, so I am looking forward to spending more time there while playing for the Strikers,” said Bates.
“The team has some very exciting players and I have obviously played a lot of cricket with Sophie Devine. I will enjoy playing alongside Megan Schutt and Amanda Wellington, instead of having to face up to them when we play Australia.
“We have a very good squad and I am very excited about the opportunity to play for Adelaide this season. I am looking forward to the fresh challenges WBBL|03 will involve and playing with a great bunch of girls.”
Bates recently scored the first century in the KIA Twenty20 Super League in England, finishing the series with 260 runs in six innings for the Southern Vipers, as well as being the team’s leading wicket-taker.
Strikers coach Andrea McCauley said to secure a player of Bates’ experience and ability was a significant coup for the Strikers.
“Suzie is such a quality player who bats and bowls, and also being the captain of New Zealand, her extensive experience is a big bonus for us,” Strikers Head Coach Andrea McCauley said.
“On top of that she is a lovely person and so easy to get along with. Both Suzie and Sophie’s experience will be amazing for the younger girls to learn from.”
The Strikers open WBBL|03 with games against the Hobart Hurricanes at Glenelg’s Gliderol Stadium on 9 and 10 December.
Current Strikers WBBL|03 squad: Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Megan Schutt, Amanda Wellington, Samantha Betts, Tahlia McGrath, Katelyn Pope, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Tegan McPharlin, Bridget Patterson.