Thunder lures rival captain north
Sydney Thunder have locked in the services of a former Melbourne Renegades captain and wicketkeeper for WBBL|03
16 November 2017, 12:59 PM AEST
The Sydney Thunder have pulled off a major coup, luring former Melbourne Renegades captain Rachel Priest north to the Harbour City for WBBL|03.
The New Zealand national, who has made 512 runs at 19.69 in two seasons with the Renegades, in addition to taking nine catches and landing 13 stumpings, said a "little bit of a change of scenery" was behind her decision to join a new WBBL club.
"I’ve really enjoyed my time in the WBBL so far," she said.
"I enjoyed my time at the Melbourne Renegades, but I felt it was time for a change and to move to such a professional and competitive team really excites me.
"I’ve played a lot against Alex Blackwell, Rachael Haynes and Rene Farrell. It’s a very exciting squad that also has a lot of young talented players."
Priest, who captained the Renegades last season to a seventh-placed finish, said she was looking forward to joining her second WBBL club.
The team in lime green took out the inaugural WBBL championship, but an indifferent win-loss record last year saw them slip to sixth.
Priest, who also pulled on the pads for Western Storm in England's Kia Super League over the Australia winter, said there was "always going to be some pressure" on overseas signings to perform, but was up for the challenge.
"... I think it’s a good thing," she said. "It means you always have to be on your game and I really enjoy that challenge. I’m joining a quality side and it’s shaping up to be an exciting season."
Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon was looking forward to what the White Ferns representative would bring to the team.
"I'm very aware of Rachel's performance both with the White Ferns and at the domestic level in New Zealand," Germon said
"She’s a high-class quality international cricketer who can win matches with the bat. She’s also a high-quality wicketkeeper with excellent ability up to the stumps.
"Her leadership will complement our leadership team within the WBBL side and I look forward to seeing her in the Thunder colours."
New Zealand's domestic one-day competition begins on the weekend of November 25-26, with the Thunder recruit expected to cross the Tasman after that to begin WBBL preparations.
Priest is Thunder’s 11th signing for WBBL|03, meaning there are still four spots on their list to be filled before next Friday’s contracting period deadline.
Current Thunder squad: Alex Blackwell (c), Sam Bates, Nicole Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffiths, Rachael Haynes, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Hannag Trethewy, Rachel Priest