With the WBBL03 opening weekend fast approaching, the eight Rebel WBBL clubs are close to finalising their squads for the third edition of the Twenty20 competition.
In addition to a clean slate from which to build their squad, clubs now have more freedom when it comes to list management with the introduction of multi-year contracts.
The Big Bash contracting period commenced on August 4 and all WBBL lists will need to be finalised by Friday November 24, with 15 spots available on each squad including three for overseas players.
Each club's playing roster can contain no more than five marquee players, inclusive of the overseas and Australian Women's Cricket Team players.
'Australian Players' are those who have represented the Southern Stars in at least 10 limited-overs matches in the three years prior to Cricket Australia announcing the national contract list on April 24. Scroll down for a full list of relevant players.
The League has this year set the salary cap for each club at $298,890 AUD.
Here's the latest on each club's playing list:
The Strikers have finalised their 15-player roster for WBBL|03 and the biggest news is the signing of former Perth Scorchers captain Suzie Bates. The star allrounder and current New Zealand captain joins her White Ferns teammate Sophie Devine in blue this summer. Devine, who smashed 103 from 48 balls in WBBL|02, will spend her third season at Adelaide Oval, while England opener Tammy Beaumont will again play for the Strikers. Australian seamer Megan Schutt and leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington have also re-signed.
"I have always loved visiting Adelaide, so I am looking forward to spending more time there while playing for the Strikers,” said Bates.
"The team has some very exciting players and I have obviously played a lot of cricket with Sophie Devine. I will enjoy playing alongside Megan Schutt and Amanda Wellington, instead of having to face up to them when we play Australia.
"We have a very good squad and I am very excited about the opportunity to play for Adelaide this season. I am looking forward to the fresh challenges WBBL|03 will involve and playing with a great bunch of girls.”
Adelaide have also signed former Sydney Sixer Rhiannon Dick, while South Australian teenagers Ellie Falconer and Annie O’Neil have earned their first WBBL contracts.
Current squad: Rhiannon Dick, Annie O’Neil, Ellie Falconer, Tammy Beaumont (Eng), Suzie Bates (NZ), Sophie Devine (NZ), Megan Schutt, Amanda Wellington, Samantha Betts, Tahlia McGrath, Katelyn Pope, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Tegan McPharlin, Bridget Patterson.
Ins: Suzie Bates (Scorchers), Rhiannon Dick (Sixers), Ellie Falconer, Annie O'Neill
Outs: Sarah Coyte, Charlotte Edwards, Sarah Elliot, Shelley Nitschke (all retired)
Big-hitting allrounder Grace Harris will return to the Brisbane Heat this summer after a season away with rivals Melbourne Renegades. The 24-year-old is expected to be available for the Heat’s opening Rebel WBBL clash on December 10 as she makes her way back from knee surgery.
Heat WBBL coach Peter McGiffin said bringing Harris’ skills back into the largely stable squad would complement it.
“The potential of having her and Deandra Dottin in the one team is something that is pretty exciting and one that we’re certainly looking forward to,” he said.
West Indian allrounder Deandra Dottin headlines an extensive list of WBBL|02 players that have signed on for the team in teal again, including Holly Ferling, Kara Sutherland, Georgia Prestwidge, Delissa Kimmince, Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Tess Cooper, Laura Harris and Kirby Short signed on to play for the team in teal once again.
The recently re-signed crop joins Australian duo Beth Mooney and Jess Jonassen, who both signed on for three seasons with the club.
Mooney was named WBBL|02 player of the tournament last summer after scoring 482 runs at an average of 43.81, including five half-centuries. The wicketkeeper-batter also snared 12 dismissals behind the stumps including 10 stumpings, before translating that form into a successful run with the bat at the top of the order for Australia.
Current squad: Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen, Grace Harris, Deandra Dottin (WI), Holly Ferling, Kara Sutherland, Georgia Prestwidge, Delissa Kimmince, Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Tess Cooper, Laura Harris, Kirby Short.
Ins: Grace Harris (Renegades)
The Hurricanes will unveil some new international signings in WBBL|03 with England opener Lauren Winfield and Indian batter Veda Krishnamurthy signing on. Middle-order batter Corinne Hall will take on the captaincy after signing a two-year deal, with the Hurricanes quick to secure many of their WBBL|02 players. Several departures have also been confirmed - former Australia seamer Julie Hunter has retired, while Erin Burns and New Zealand international Amy Satterthwaite have found new homes interstate.
“I enjoy every single aspect of the WBBL competition I think this is largely due to the playing group we have at the Hobart Hurricanes," Hall said.
“We have had the same nucleus of players since the inception of the WBBL so we know each other so well and have built a great team culture which makes playing in this tournament even more special.
“Veda seems like a student of the game, someone who is always looking to improve some aspect of her cricket. We saw how destructive she can be in the World Cup when she played a dynamic innings against a very good New Zealand side, so hopefully we will see more of that from here this WBBL,” she said.
“Lauren is a player I have admired for a long time and through her experience representing England and leading Yorkshire both in the County and Kia Super Leagues, I think she will be invaluable asset to myself and the group.”
Current squad: Emma Thompson, Erin Fazackerley, Brooke Hepburn, Georgia Redmayne, Veronica Pyke, Katelyn Fryett, Celeste Raack, Sasha Moloney, Veda Krishnamurthy (Ind), Lauren Winfield (Eng), Corinne Hall
Ins: Veda Krishnamurthy (Ind), Lauren Winfield (Eng)
Outs: Erin Burns (Sixers), Julie Hunter (retired), Amy Satterthwaite (Renegades)
The Renegades have significantly bolstered their batting line-up with record-breaking Sri Lankan batter Chamari Atapattu and former Melbourne Star Jess Duffin signing on for WBBL|03.
Atapattu, who smashed an unbeaten 178 against Australia during the World Cup earlier this year, is looking forward to her first taste of the WBBL competition.
“I am excited to come to Melbourne this season and play with the Renegades,” she said.
“The WBBL is a big competition and the club has lots of fans, so it will be great to have that support.”
Duffin will share her commitments between the Renegades and Colling Football Club and is hoping to make a major impact in WBBL|03 after undergoing shoulder surgery during the off-season.
Victorian wicketkeeper Emma Inglis has also switched allegiances this summer, joining the Melbourne Renegades from crosstown rival Melbourne Stars, while ACT Meteors allrounder Claire Koski joins the mix.
The Renegades will have a new skipper in WBBL|03, with New Zealand international Amy Sattherwaite jumping ship from the Hurricanes. Sattherwaite has signed a three-year deal with the club, while the Renegades have also re-signed fellow Kiwi Lea Tahuhu, and enticed former Stars player Hayley Jensen to don the red.
Current squad: Amy Satterthwaite (C) (NZ), Molly Strano, Sophie Molineux, Jess Duffin, Leah Tahuhu (NZ), Hayley Jensen, Emma Inglis, Maitlan Brown, Claire Koski, Georgia Wareham, Chamari Atapattu (SL), Tayla Vlaeminck, Kris Britt
Ins: Jess Duffin (Stars), Hayley Jensen (Stars), Amy Satterthwaite (Hurricanes), Emma Inglis (Stars), Claire Koski (Thunder), Chamari Atapattu (SL)
Outs: Grace Harris (Heat)
The Melbourne Stars will field a new-look team this summer. Gone are former captain Meg Lanning (Scorchers) and Duffin (Renegades), with the Stars appointing Australia leg-spinner Kristen Beams skipper for WBBL|03. The Stars have also confirmed three overseas signings, securing the services of South Africa batters Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, alongside England allrounder Georgia Elwiss, Their contingent of internationals is rounded out by the signature of former Australia off-spinner Erin Osborne, who has moved south from the Sydney Thunder.
They have two spots remaining for local players.
Current squad: Kristen Beams (c), Makinley Blows, Hayleigh Brennan, Mignon du Preez (SA), Georgia Elwiss (Eng), Nicole Faltum, Emma Kearney, Alana King, Anna Lanning, Lizelle Lee (SA), Katie Mack, Erin Osborne, Gemma Triscari
Ins: Mignon du Preez, Georgia Elwiss, Lizelle Lee, Erin Osborne (Thunder), Nicole Faltum
Outs: Jess Duffin (Renegades), Hayley Jenson (Renegades), Meg Lanning (Scorchers), Morna Neilsen, Natalie Sciver (Scorchers)
The Scorchers have signed two of England's biggest stars for WBBL|03, with pace spearhead Katherine Brunt re-signing while exciting allrounder Natalie Sciver has made the move across from the Melbourne Stars.
While Suzie Bates has departed for the Strikers, Perth have an all-star international cast after pulling off the biggest coup in WBBL history, luring Australia captain Lanning for the next three seasons. Lanning’s deal with the Scorchers will see her in orange until the end of the 2019-20 season, and while the world’s best batter has already been ruled out of WBBL|03 due to the aforementioned shoulder surgery, the multi-year deal means Scorchers fans will have the chance to watch Lanning in action in WBBL|04 and WBBL|05.
"Hopefully I can contribute batting, bowling and fielding and I can help get some wins on the board," Sciver said.
"Katherine says the squad is young, but really fun and a great group of girls, so I’m really looking playing with the Scorchers over this Australian summer."
The Scorchers have also signed Australian batters Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani to multi-year deals and given Lanning's injury, they'll be able to add a replacement international player before the season starts. They'v also re-signed the majority of their WBBL|02 squad, adding former Thunder player Mikayla Hinkley, with one spot remaining on their list.
Current squad: Nicole Bolton, Katherine Brunt (Eng), Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Megan Banting, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Mikayla Hinkley, Emma King, Chloe Piparo, Natalie Sciver (Eng), Emily Smith.
Ins: Mikayla Hinkley (Thunder), Meg Lanning (Stars), Natalie Sciver (Stars)
Outs: Suzie Bates (Strikers)
The Sydney Sixers have re-signed three Australian contracted players for WBBL|03, with Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Asheigh Gardner all back on board. The trio's re-signing comes after the reigning champions had already landed a major early blow on their local rivals, luring rising fast bowler Lauren Cheatle away from the Thunder. Cheatle was the first player to sign a multi-year WBBL deal with the Sixers, committing to the reigning champions until the end of WBBL|05.
The 18-year-old left-arm quick, who made her Australian debut in January 2016, is on the comeback trail after shoulder surgery ruled her out of the Women’s World Cup. The Sixers have also lured Erin Burns from Hobart Hurricanes.
Current squad: Ellyse Perry (C), Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Lauren Cheatle, Ash Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Emily Leys, Ange Reakes, Lauren Smith, Carly Leeson
Ins: Erin Burns (Hurricanes), Lauren Cheatle (Thunder)
Outs: Rhiannon Dick (Strikers)
Rachael Haynes has followed her appointment as stand-in Australian cricket captain by re-signing with the Sydney Thunder, alongside Aussie vice-captain - and Thunder skipper - Alex Blackwell.
Both Blackwell and Haynes, who will lead Australia in the Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes in Meg Lanning's absence this summer, have signed two-year contract extensions.
“I really wanted to continue what we’ve started to build at Thunder,” said Alex Blackwell.
“I enjoy captaining this new team, there’s a lot of pride that goes into it. The core of the team will stay the same but we’ll get an injection of new and exciting talent and our list looks very strong.
“I’m very hungry to keep finding ways to get better. The WBBL has come along at a really great time for me. It’s a new and exciting competition and I’ve had to look at new ways to expand my game."
Current squad: Alex Blackwell (C), Sam Bates, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Treneman, Hannah Trethewy, Lisa Griffiths, Naomi Stalenberg, Nicola Carey
Ins: Lisa Griffiths
Outs: Stef Daffara, Mikayla Hinkley (Scorchers), Claire Koski (Renegades), Erin Osborne (Stars)
Support the Thunder Nation by registering your interest here to find out when Memberships go on sale in BBL07/WBBL03
The players deemed to be 'Australian Players' under the League's guidelines are as follows: Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Jess Cameron, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani.