Rebel WBBL|03

Thunder shapes up as Hurricanes finalise list

Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes lock in signings on deadline day for WBBL contracting period

Cricket Network

24 November 2017, 06:47 AM

Sydney Thunder has re-signed hot ticket allrounder Harmanpreet Kaur for a further two seasons on the final day of the Rebel WBBL contracting period.

The 28-year-old, who made history as the first Indian player to secure a Big Bash League contract, was impressive in her debut season for the Thunder, making 296 at 59.20 with a strike rate of 117.

She also had an impact with the ball, her off-breaks claiming six wickets, including a haul of 4-27 against Melbourne Stars in the same match she made a blistering 30no from 21 balls.

Kaur reminded Australia just how destructive she can be with the bat in the ICC Women's World Cup, where she belted an incredible 171no against the Southern Stars at Derby to guide India to the final.

Kaur rages then unleashes in World Cup semi

"It's been almost like a dream come true, we as a unit never thought we would make it to the finals and then going so close to winning," she said of India’s World Cup campaign. "It's been a great experience for the side, things have drastically changed for women's cricket in India.

"People are recognising us, they come for our autographs and pictures -  it's such a good feeling to get that respect from the country which is mad for cricket."

Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon said he was excited to see Kaur back at the Thunder.  

"Following the Women's World Cup, Harmanpreet was the hottest property in cricket," Germon said. "She showed during that tournament, and through her performances with the Thunder, that she is one of, if not the most, destructive batters in the game at the moment.

"She will bring her match winning qualities to our side and I am sure our fans will enjoy watching her play once again in Thunder colours."

Kaur's rapid-fire knock

Kaur's signing means the Thunder still have two members of their 15-player WBBL|03 squad to confirm before today’s deadline.

Hobart Hurricanes, meanwhile, have finalised their list, announcing the re-signing of star West Indies allrounder Hayley Matthews on Friday afternoon.

The Matthews' announcement followed on from a trio of signings on Thursday afternoon, with Stefanie Daffara and Nicola Hancock having crossed from the Thunder and Melbourne Renegades respectively and Meg Phillips returning after turning out for Hobart last summer. All three have signed one-year contracts.

Matthews, who claimed a team-high 20 wickets last summer and hit 185 runs, said she was looking forward to her return to Tasmania.

"I've played there for the last two years and the main reason I'm coming back is the bond I have with the team, coaches and everyone down there," she said.

"It would definitely be a huge motivating factor this year to go one step further – get to the finals and win the whole tournament."

The squad has seen a reshuffle over the off-season. With Heather Knight unavailable, the Hurricanes have turned to fellow Englishwoman Lauren Winfield and Indian Veda Krishnamurthy as international signings alongside Matthews.

"I've played a bit against both Lauren and Veda. I think they're great players and I'm really looking forward to playing alongside them and picking their brains as they're very experienced," Matthews said.

For Daffara, the new deal follows her move from New South Wales to play with Cripps Tasmanian Roar in the Women’s National Cricket League this summer.

Highlights: Hurricanes pull off Melbourne miracle

Philips said altough she has been in purple for the initial seasons of the tournament, securing a spot on the Hurricanes' list for WBBL|03 wasn't a foregone conclusions.

"Every year the competition has been going it's harder and harder to keep your spot because there's so much talent around and all the girls want to be a part of it, so I'm really happy to be a part of the Hurricanes squad," she said.

"I love being part of the Hurricanes and the competition has grown and grown, so it's great to be part of a good team.

"I've been plagued by a few injuries but I'm fit now and looking to work my way into the team and contribute as much as possible." 

Current Thunder squad: Alex Blackwell (C), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Harmanpreet Kaur, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Belinda Vakarewa.

Final Hurricanes squad: Corinne Hall (C), Emma Thompson, Erin Fazackerley, Brooke Hepburn, Georgia Redmayne, Veronica Pyke, Katelyn Fryett, Celeste Raack, Sasha Moloney, Veda Krishnamurthy, Lauren Winfield, Meg Phillips, Nicola Hancock, Stefanie Daffara, Hayley Matthews.