There’s little more than a fortnight remaining until the Rebel WBBL season will begin with a blockbuster opening carnival weekend at Melbourne’s Junction Oval.
And as the season approaches, the Women’s Big Bash clubs are moving closer to finalising their playing lists ahead of the season start on December 1.
Teams will again feature 15 players, with an allowance of up to five marquee players – a maximum of three coming from overseas – while the definition of an ‘Australian player’ has changed.
Where previously Australian marquees were players who had played at least 10 limited-overs matches in the three previous years, this season it only refers to players who held a Cricket Australia contract at the beginning of the WBBL|04 contracting period.
This change, combined with the introduction of multi-year contracts in WBBL|03, means the Sydney Sixers will feature seven marquee players this season – but should any of those become unavailable due to injury or international duties, they can only be replaced by a local player.
Below are the current WBBL|04 squads, as they stand on November 15 ahead of the contracting deadline on Friday week.
Roster spots to fill: seven Marquee players signed: five In: Sarah Coyte (Sixers), Danielle Hazell (ENG) Out: Tammy Beaumont (ENG)
After making the semi-finals of WBBL|03, the Strikers have added two big names to their line-up for the upcoming season, former Australia pace bowler Sarah Coyte and England spinner Danielle Hazell.
Coyte made a brief comeback to cricket last summer – having taken a break from the game after playing the first two seasons for the Strikers – when she filled in for the Sixers at the pointy end of their successful campaign and her two wickets in the semi-final helped end Adelaide’s title hopes. But Coyte returns to the Strikers this summer, where she’ll form a potent pace attack with Australian superstar Megan Schutt and New Zealand allrounder Sophie Devine.
Hazell, an off-spinner who’s played more than 100 games for England across all formats, has previously appeared for the Stars in the WBBL and adds another dimension to Adelaide’s spin stocks, which already features leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington.
With all marquee spots assigned, big-hitting England opener Tammy Beaumont won’t return, but the inclusion of Hazell adds to an already enviable roster of internationals with the likes of Schutt, Wellington, Devine and Suzie Bates.
Current squad: Suzie Bates (NZ), Sarah Coyte, Sophie Devine (NZ), Danielle Hazell (ENG), Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Megan Schutt (AUS), Amanda-Jade Wellington (AUS).
Roster spots to fill: four Marquee players signed: four In: Sune Luus (SA) Out: Holly Ferling (Stars)
There’ll be a distinctly South African flavour to the Heat this summer with teenage batter Laura Wolvaardt returning – and this time she’s brought experienced allrounder Sune Luus with her.
Luus, a leg-spinner who also adds flair with the bat, is making her maiden appearance in the WBBL and adds some extra star-power to Brisbane’s list of marquee players, which also includes Australian stars Jess Jonassen and Beth Mooney.
Recalled Australian allrounder Delissa Kimmince, who earned her first Australian contract since 2015 in April, doesn’t count as a marquee player this season given her relatively recent return to international cricket, meaning the Heat have one international spot available and they’ll no doubt be keeping a close eye on the ongoing Women’s World T20 as they hunt one final big-name player.
The Heat have parted ways with fast bowler Holly Ferling, who has headed south to join Melbourne Stars, but they’ve kept the bulk of their squad intact with experienced players including Jemma Barsby, Grace Harris and Kirby Short all returning.
Current squad: Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Josie Dooley, Grace Harris, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen (AUS), Delissa Kimmince, Sune Luus (SA), Beth Mooney (AUS), Georgia Prestwidge, Kirby Short, Laura Wolvaardt (SA).
Roster spots to fill: five Marquee players signed: two In: Heather Knight (England) Out: TBA
After a disappointing WBBL|03 campaign that yielded just two wins from 14 matches, the Hurricanes have a new coach for the upcoming summer having lured highly regarded England mentor Salli-Ann Briggs to Tasmanian cricket.
The new coach has taken her time assessing her list and while key players including Corinne Gall, Georgia Redmayne and Brooke Hepburn are all locked in for WBBL|04, the Hurricanes have now turned their attention to locking in key internationals.
Exciting Windies allrounder Hayley Matthews will once again return to Hobart, while England captain Heather Knight will also don the purple having represented the Hurricanes back in WBBL|02.
With the Australian marquee players all signed elsewhere, Hobart will only field three internationals this summer. However, they have promising up-and-comer Erin Fazackerley in their ranks, with the pace-bowling allrounder fresh off a winter spent training with the National Performance Squad in Brisbane.
Current squad: Stefanie Daffara, Erin Fazackerley, Katelyn Fryett, Corinne Hall, Brooke Hepburn, Heather Knight (ENG), Hayley Matthews (WI), Meg Phillips, Veronica Pyke, Georgia Redmayne.
Roster spots to fill: one Marquee players signed: three In: Erica Kershaw, Anna Lanning (Stars), Courtney Webb, Danni Wyatt (England). Out: Hayley Jensen (NZ), Chamari Atapattu (SL), Kris Britt (retired).
The Renegades fell just short of a maiden WBBL finals appearance last season but they boast arguably one of the most promising lists, with their original investment in talented youth beginning to pay dividends.
Allrounder Sophie Molineux, leg-spinner Georgia Wareham and quick Tayla Vlaeminck have all made their Australian debuts this year – but handily for the Renegades, the trio don’t yet count as marquee players.
They’ve also secured the signature of in-form England star Danielle Wyatt, who returns to the red after a season out of the WBBL. She joins New Zealand captain Amy Satterthwaite and quick Lea Tahuhu to round out the Renegades’ international contingent.
But the top-level experience doesn’t end there – the Renegades also have former Australia batter Jess Cameron at their disposal, alongside Australia A skipper Molly Strano and up-and-coming pace bowler Maitlan Brown.
Joining the Renegades is Anna Lanning, sister of Australian captain Meg, who has moved across from Melbourne Stars, but it seems unlikely New Zealand allrounder Hayley Jensen will return, with her return to international cricket this year meaning she can no longer play as a local.
Current squad: Maitlan Brown, Jess Duffin, Emma Inglis, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Anna Lanning, Sophie Molineux, Amy Satterthwaite (NZ), Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb, Danni Wyatt (ENG).
Roster spots to fill: three Marquee players signed: four In: Holly Ferling (Heat) Out: Emma Kearney (AFLW), Anna Lanning (Renegades), Gemma Triscari (retired)
Consistency is key for the Stars, who’ve maintained their roster of marquee players from WBBL|03 with South Africans Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez and England’s Georgia Elwiss all returning.
They’ve also bolstered their pace stocks with the inclusion of Holly Ferling from the Heat, while the Stars will also hope captain Kristen Beams can return from an achilles injury in time for the season start.
Ferling adds some pace to the Stars attack, where she’ll join teenage speedster Annabel Sutherland, but they have bid farewell to Emma Kearney – who has switched her full-time focus to Australian Rules football – and Anna Lanning, who has moved to cross-town rivals the Renegades.
Current squad: Kristen Beams (AUS), Mackinlay Blows, Mignon du Preez (SA), Georgia Elwiss (ENG), Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Alana King, Lizelle Lee (SA), Katie Mack, Erin Osborne, Chloe Rafferty, Annabel Sutherland.
Roster spots to fill: three Marquee players signed: three In: TBA Out: TBA
It’s been a long, long time coming but Scorchers fans, get excited: Meg Lanning is back, she’s fit, she’s firing and she’ll be wearing orange this summer.
Lanning signed with Perth last year, when she was already ruled out of the summer due to shoulder surgery. But this year, she forms a potent batting line-up alongside international teammates Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani.
The Scorchers still have three roster spots to fill, including room for two internationals, so expect more signing news to come from Perth in the next week.
But otherwise the WBBL|03 runners-up present a consistent group.
They will benefit from the continued improvements of core squad members Heather Graham, Piepa Cleary and Chloe Piparo; the trio were part of Australia A’s tour of India this month, while Graham and Cleary also spent the winter training with the NPS squad in Brisbane.
Current squad: Megan Banting, Nicole Bolton (AUS), Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Emma King, Meg Lanning (AUS), Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Emily Smith, Elyse Villani (AUS).
Roster spots to fill: two Marquee players signed: seven In: Stella Campbell, Hayley Silver-Holmes Out: Sarah Coyte (Strikers)
The back-to-back Big Bash champions have been a force to be reckoned with across the last two summers and it seems highly likely that trend will continue.
They boast a total of seven marquee players this summer; the change in rules regarding marquee players this year means the Sixers are over the cap of five, but they had already signed their players when the rule was changed so have been permitted to keep all seven on their roster. However, should any of these players sustain an injury or be called away on international duty, they can only be replaced by a local.
Credit must go to the Sixers for building such an imposing list; original Australian marquee players Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry have been joined by rising stars Ashleigh Gardner and Lauren Cheatle, while overseas stars Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk and Sara McGlashan round out an impressive roster.
Those big names are joined by one of the competition’s most consistent pace bowlers in veteran Sarah Aley, skilful allrounder Erin Burns and off-spinner Lauren Smith.
And they’ve looked to the future with their two recruits, adding Australia Under-19 representatives Stella Campbell and Hayley Silver-Holmes to their ranks.
Current squad: Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle (AUS), Ashleigh Gardner (AUS), Alyssa Healy (AUS), Marizanne Kapp (SA), Carly Leeson, Sara McGlashan (NZ), Ellyse Perry (AUS), Hayley Silver-Holmes, Lauren Smith, Dane van Niekerk (SA).
Roster spots to fill: four Marquee players signed: four In: Saskia Horley Out: TBA
The WBBL|01 champions have retained the bulk of their squad after making the semi-finals last summer.
India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor join Alex Blackwell and Rachael Haynes to fill four of the Thunder’s five marquee spots, leaving one space yet to be confirmed.
They’ve added just one player at present, signing teenager Saskia Horley after an impressive winter that saw the left-arm spinner represent Australia’s Under-19s in South Africa before training with the NPS in Brisbane.
Current squad: Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell (AUS), Nicola Carey, Rene Farrell, Maisy Gibson, Rachael Haynes (AUS), Saskia Horley, Harmanpreet Kaur (IND), Stafanie Taylor (WI), Rachel Trenaman, Belinda Vakarewa.