Squad goals: How your club is shaping up for WBBL|07
Three months out from the start of WBBL|07, we take a club-by-club look through the league to see how things are placed
14 July 2021, 02:22 PM AEST
Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers have been the big early movers as clubs begin locking in their rosters three months out from the opening game of WBBL|07.
The Hurricanes pulled off arguably the biggest signing coup of the WBBL off-season, landing the prized signature of Molly Strano, while the Scorchers have signed long-time Sixers allrounder Marizanne Kapp, and former Stars leg-spinner Alana King.
The contracting window for the seventh edition of the WBBL – which will return to a festival weekend format beginning October 14 after last season was played inside a Sydney hub – is well and truly underway, with speculation around the involvement of India’s biggest stars a major talking point.
An uncertain international schedule means it is unclear how many tours could potentially clash with this summer's Big Bash; but currently, the only confirmed series is a visit by England to Pakistan which ends on October 22.
But it is the potential for Indian players to take part in the league for the first time since WBBL|04, given they will already be in Australia for the upcoming multi-format series ending October 11, that has many clubs excited.
Speaking following the release of the WBBL|07 fixture, Cricket Australia’s head of Big Bash Alistair Dobson said he was confident overseas players would be able to arrive in Australia, despite recent reductions in the country’s quarantine caps.
"It’s inevitable there will be some hurdles but we have great experience from last year and we showed our ability to work closely with governments and players and different stakeholders to get players in," Dobson said.
"We’re really excited about some of the players being signed to WBBL teams.
"We understand the challenges but we’re hopeful of being able to work around it again. That said, it is an ever-changing landscape and we’ll have to be nimble and flexible."
As per previous seasons, clubs have an allowance of up to five marquee players and a maximum of three from overseas.
Australian marquees are those who hold a Cricket Australia contract for 2021-22, meaning Adelaide Striker quick Darcie Brown has been elevated to that 15-player group, replacing recent retiree Delissa Kimmince.
Here's a definitive guide to how your club is currently placed ahead of WBBL|07.
WBBL|06 result: 6th (6 wins, 7 losses, 1 no result)
WBBL|07 squad so far: Darcie Brown, Bridget Patterson, Amanda-Jade Wellington
In: TBC Out: TBC
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Suzie Bates (NZ), Sarah Coyte, Ellen Falconer, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Tegan McPharlin, Annie O'Neil, Madeline Penna, Alex Price, Megan Schutt, Stafanie Taylor (WI), Laura Wolvaardt (SA)
Adelaide Strikers’ all-time leading wicket-taker Amanda-Jade Wellington has extended her stay for a further three years, but the club has otherwise been quiet so far on the announcement front.
After missing out on the top four by a single point in a hotly contested race for the semi-finals last season, the Strikers already have recent Australia debutante Darcie Brown on the books, alongside experienced batter Bridget Patterson, who signed a new three-year deal before the start of WBBL|06.
However, Brown's ascent to the marquee list will likely trigger a shift in how Adelaide approach their international slots; if the Strikers retain the services of Australia-contracted players Megan Schutt and Tahlia McGrath as expected, they will have just two spots to offer overseas players.
WBBL|06 result: Semi-finalists
WBBL|07 squad so far: Jess Jonassen (c), Grace Harris, Laura Kimmince, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Georiga Redmayne, Georgia Voll
In: TBC Out: Delissa Kimmince (retired)
WBBL|07 squad members off contract: Nadine de Klerk (SA), Maddy Green (NZ), Amelia Kerr (NZ), Nicola Hancock, Lilly Mills, Courtney Sippel
The Heat proved the doubters wrong last season, making the semi-finals despite losing leading run scorer Beth Mooney and key allrounder Sammy-Jo Johnson to other clubs.
Captain Jess Jonassen is on a long-term deal and promising youngsters Georgia Voll, Charli Knott and Courtney Sippel are all locked in for next season already, as are key trio Georgia Redmayne, Grace Harris and Laura Kimmince, giving the Heat a strong foundation.
They will no doubt be eager to continue their association with New Zealand leg-spinner Amelia Kerr, and following Delissa Kimmince's retirement, they may consider targeting an overseas pace-bowling allrounder as a replacement.
WBBL|06 result: Eighth (3 wins, 9 losses, 3 no results)
WBBL|07 squad so far: Amy Smith, Molly Strano, Naomi Stalenberg, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck
In: Molly Strano (Renegades) Out: TBC
WBBL|07 squad members off contract: Nicola Carey, Emma Flint, Maisy Gibson, Corinne Hall, Brooke Hepburn, Erica Kershaw, Hayley Matthews (WI), Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest (NZ), Chloe Rafferty, Chloe Tryon (SA)
Hobart Hurricanes have pulled off arguably the biggest signing coup of the WBBL off-season, landing the prized signature of Molly Strano.
Strano, the league's all-time leading wicket-taker, has departed the Melbourne Renegades after six seasons and has penned a two-year deal with the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are looking for a change in fortunes after finishing on the bottom of the table three times in the past four seasons.
They last made the top four in WBBL|02.
They were dealt two major injury blows before WBBL|06 even started when Tayla Vlaeminck (foot) and Maisy Gibson (ACL) were ruled out for the season, and while they had recruited with a view to bolstering their batting line-up by signing Naomi Stalenberg and Rachel Priest, things never quite clicked.
Batting was again a major issue for the Hurricanes, with opener Priest (354 runs at 35) the only player to average more than 17 across the season – so it seems likely they will again canvass the league for available batting talent.
It is likely they will also review their international personnel, after Chloe Tryon (164 runs at 16) and Hayley Matthews (128 runs at 16) did not produce the campaigns they would have hoped for with the bat.
Reigning Tasmania WNCL player the year Nicola Carey is also off contract.
WBBL|06 result: 7th (4 wins, 8 losses, 2 no results)
WBBL|07 squad so far: Makinley Blows, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Ella Hayward, Sophie Molineux, Courtney Webb
In: TBC Out: Molly Strano (Hurricanes)
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Maitlan Brown, Erin Fazackerley, Lizelle Lee (SA), Carly Leeson, Courtney Neale, Amy Satterthwaite (NZ), Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Courtney Webb
The Renegades have re-signed exciting young batter Courtney Webb but have bid farewell to star off-spinner Molly Strano, after the all-time leading WBBL wicket-taker’s move to the Hobart Hurricanes.
They have yet to confirm who will fill their three overseas slots, and all three of last season’s imports – Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu and Lizelle Lee – are off contract.
They have confirmed a new coach with Simon Helmot taking over from Lachlan Stevens, a new captain in Sophie Molineux, and it was today confirmed they will regain the services of Jess Duffin this season, with the former Australia batter returning having missed last season after giving birth to her first daughter Georgie.
WBBL|06 result: Runners-up
WBBL|07 squad so far: Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Erin Osborne, Elyse Villani
In: TBC Out: Alana King (Scorchers)
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Katherine Brunt (Eng), Lucy Cripps, Sophie Day, Bhavi Devchand, Mignon du Preez (SA), Holly Ferling, Georgia Gall, Natalie Sciver (Eng), Annabel Sutherland
After their remarkable rise from the bottom of the table to making their first final the Stars will be eager to build on that momentum, but they will have to do so without four key members of last year’s campaign.
England’s tour of Pakistan will prevent Natalie Sciver and Katherine Brunt returning, while Alana King has shifted west to join the Perth Scorchers after six seasons in green.
Coach Trent Woodhill has also moved on, replaced by Jarrad Loughman.
The Stars have yet to confirm any re-signings or additions to the five players already locked into multi-year deals, but have a crop of young talent in Annabel Sutherland, Lucy Cripps and Sophie Day that they will no doubt be eager to hang on to.
WBBL|06 result: Semi-finalist
WBBL|07 squad so far: Chamari Athapathu (SL), Samantha Betts, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Sophie Devine (NZ), Heather Graham, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Alana King, Beth Mooney, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo
In: Marizanne Kapp (SA, Sixers), Chamari Athapaththu (SL), Alana King (Stars)
Out: Amy Jones (Eng), Sarah Glenn (Eng), Emma King (retired)
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Megan Banting, Jemma Barsby, Nicole Bolton, Georgia Wyllie
Once again it has been the Scorchers making the biggest moves early in the WBBL|07 contracting period.
They have secured the prized signature of South Africa allrounder Marizanne Kapp, who moves west after six seasons with the Sydney Sixers, and have lured leg-spinner Alana King across from the Melbourne Stars.
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu has also signed on the dotted line, while New Zealand allrounder and Scorchers captain Sophie Devine has committed to the club for another season, rounding out their overseas contingent.
Beth Mooney and Heather Graham are among those remaining on multi-year deals, and Mathlida Carmichael, Chloe Piparo and Sam Betters have all signed new two-year deals, leaving the Scorchers with just four spots to fill.
WBBL|06 result: 5th (6 wins, 6 losses, two no results)
WBBL|07 squad so far: Ellyse Perry (c), Ashleigh Gardner, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Alyssa Healy, Emma Hughes, Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes
In: TBC Out: Marizanne Kapp (SA, Scorchers), Dane van Niekerk (SA), Sarah Aley (retired)
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Maddy Darke, Lisa Griffith, Jodie Hicks
The Sixers are set to revamp their international spots and their batting approach after missing finals for two consecutive years.
The club is currently on the hunt for a new head coach, after two-time champion mentor Ben Sawyer was elevated to full-time assistant of the Australian team, while they have also confirmed they will not re-contract South Africa stars Marizanne Kapp (who has since joined the Scorchers) and Dane van Niekerk.
Excitingly, they have been linked to India opening batter Shafali Verma and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav – although nothing has been officially confirmed.
Otherwise, their contract list will largely remain the same, but a shift is set to be made to their approach, new list manager Lisa Sthalekar has suggested.
Speaking after her appointment in early July, Sthalekar said the Sixers had been a victim of their own early success, sticking to what had been a winning formula rather than evolving as the competition changed around them.
She suggested whoever came on board to lead the team would have the chance to revamp their approach, as they work out how and when best to deploy their superstar batters.
WBBL|06 result: Champions
WBBL|07 squad so far: Sam Bates, Hannah Darlington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson
In: TBC Out: TBC
WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Tammy Beaumont (SA), Rachael Haynes, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail (SA), Heather Knight (Eng), Rachel Trenaman
The reigning champions have already locked in nine names for their title defence but will be forced to re-think their approach to their international slots.
England’s tour of Pakistan will prevent Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont from taking part this season, leaving the Thunder with two big holes to fill in their batting order.
They have yet to confirm who will take their place, with new Thunder list manager Alex Blackwell remaining tightlipped when speaking to reporters earlier this month. However, with India players expected to be available this season due to their tour of Australia in September and October, the Sydney club could target the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, or former player Harmanpreet Kaur.
In good news, South Africa currently have no conflicting tours, so Shabnim Ismail will likely be available should the Thunder re-sign the fiery speedster.
The Thunder’s strong core of local talent – including young guns Hannah Darlington and Phoebe Litchfield, allrounder Sammy-Jo Johnson and left-arm spinner Sam Bates – are all on multi-year deals, however captain Rachael Haynes is one big local name still off contract.