England pair Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont have joined the Sydney Thunder for the WBBL while West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor returns to the Adelaide Strikers.
The confirmation of the three overseas signings completes the squads for the Thunder and Strikers ahead of the tournament which will be played entirely in a Sydney hub from October 25.
Both Knight and Beaumont have extensive experience in the WBBL; Knight has previously played 55 matches for the Hobart Hurricanes while Beaumont has had spells with the Melbourne Renegades and Strikers.
“With Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell retiring, one of the things that stood out was the need for some support for Rachael Haynes, and some more senior experience to help our younger players,” Thunder coach Trevor Griffin said.
“Heather is a true leader. It doesn’t matter what level of cricket she’s playing, the way she prepares is always exactly the same – and that will be great for our younger players to see how the best players in the world operate.
“Tammy is an aggressive player who wants to score runs and wants to dominate and that’s the way we want to play our cricket. They’re both great at connecting with people and sharing their ideas, so I have no doubt that our entire squad will benefit from having Heather and Tammy around.”
Meanwhile, Taylor will resume her stay with the Strikers after her 2019-2020 campaign was restricted to two matches by international commitments before injury prevented her from returning to the tournament.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Stafanie back who proved to be such an exciting player in a short period last year,” the Strikers coach Luke Williams said. “We feel that we have a really balanced, all-round squad, and we all can’t wait for the season to be underway.”
However, the Strikers, who have lost Sophie Devine to the Perth Scorchers, face a nervous wait to find out the seriousness of captain Suzie Bates’ shoulder injury after she was ruled out of the last two ODIs against Australia.
“That was kind of frightening, just from a friendship perspective,” Strikers team-mate Megan Schutt said. “I’ve known Suzie a long time and she’s a dear friend so that was quite scary. She’s walking around in a sling, hasn’t said they’ve seen the shoulder surgeon yet so we are waiting on news for that. I definitely had my Strikers’ hat on and was a little bit scared…Sophie has departed so we can’t have another Kiwi out.”
Sydney Thunder squad Rachael Haynes (capt), Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson
Adelaide Strikers squad Suzie Bates (capt), Darcie Brown, Sarah Coyte, Ellie Falconer, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Tegan McPharlin, Annie O’Neil, Bridget Patterson, Madeline Penna, Alex Price, Megan Schutt, Stafanie Taylor, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Laura Wolvaardt
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