Perry set to re-sign, Vlaeminck, Villani futures unclear
Several big name players are off contract as WBBL clubs look to fill their rosters ahead of the new season
12 May 2022, 03:48 PM AEST
Star allrounder Ellyse Perry has agreed to terms on a new deal with the Sydney Sixers despite attracting interest from several other Big Bash teams, but pace ace Tayla Vlaeminck and opener Elyse Villani are yet to re-commit to their clubs ahead of WBBL|08.
The Weber WBBL contracting embargo lifted this week, meaning players and clubs can officially sign new deals ahead of the competition's eighth season later this year.
There's tipped to be significant player movement in the off-season but that's not expected to include Perry, who is yet to officially re-sign with the Sixers but has agreed to terms for this year.
The two-time champions have missed the finals in the past three years, including a horror campaign last season that saw them finish last, leading to speculation of significant player turnover.
But despite being in the sights of other clubs, Perry has agreed to stay and re-join national teammates Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner at the Sixers.
Fast bowler Vlaeminck is out of contract with the Hobart Hurricanes and her future is undecided as she prioritises her rehabilitation from a serious foot injury.
The 23-year-old's return to play is yet to be confirmed, but she is yet to start running again and is unlikely to be fit for Australia's Commonwealth Games campaign in July and August.
The speedster would be in high demand on the open market given she's one of the fastest bowlers in the country when fully fit.
It's understood Villani, the fourth-highest run-scorer last season, has been offered a new contract by the Melbourne Stars, but she is yet to re-sign.
While the 32-year-old has not ruled out staying with Melbourne, a move to the Hurricanes is a possibility given she now lives in Tasmania and her partner also plays for Hobart.
Australia star Rachel Haynes is also out of contract but is expected to stay with the Sydney Thunder.
While Perry's Big Bash future is all but settled, where she sits in the national T20 set-up is set to be revealed next week when selectors are expected to name their 20-over squad for the Commonwealth Games.
The allrounder remains a key part of Australia's Test and ODI teams but was dropped from the T20 side last summer, with coach Matthew Mott flagging a desire to pick more dynamic batters in his middle order.
With Healy, Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning solidified in Australia's top three, Perry's value down the order has come under scrutiny due to her relatively low strike rate compared to players like Gardner, Haynes and Tahlia McGrath.
Perry started last BBL season at No.4 in the order for the Sixers before shifting up to first drop and then to the opening spot, where she has spent most of her Big Bash career.
The right-hander has been the club's leading run-scorer in the past three seasons by some margin, but her strike rate of less than 100 has gone against the grain as the competition's overall scoring rate has increased.
The lifting of the contracting embargo will also lead to an influx of international stars signing new deals, with none of the eight clubs currently having any overseas players on their books.
Clubs can sign a maximum of five overseas players, with a maximum of three in their primary squad of 15 at any one time.
There are no longer any restrictions on the number of players a club can sign from one country, having previously been limited to two players per country.
WBBL|08 squads so far
Adelaide Strikers: Darcie Brown, Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Maddie Penna, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Brisbane Heat: Nicola Hancock, Jess Jonassen, Courtney Sippell
Hobart Hurricanes: Nicola Carey, Maisy Gibson, Amy Smith, Molly Strano, Rachel Trenaman
Melbourne Renegades: Ellen Falconer, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb
Melbourne Stars: Nicole Faltum, Meg Lanning (c), Annabel Sutherland
Perth Scorchers: Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Alana King, Lilly Mills, Beth Mooney, Chloe Piparo
Sydney Sixers: Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy
Sydney Thunder: Samantha Bates, Phoebe Litchfeld, Olivia Porter, Tahlia Wilson