Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder have unveiled three big signings – on and off the field – ahead of the first ever Women's Big Bash League.
The Thunder unveiled former Southern Stars allrounder Rachael Haynes as their latest recruit, while the Sixers have nabbed NSW stalwart Sarah Aley.
Haynes, who has played three Tests, 33 one-day internationals and 27 Twent20 Internationals, joins the Thunder off the back of a stand-out WNCL tournament in 2014-15, where she featured in the top five run scorers of the competition.
"Her leadership skills and hard work both on and off the field will ensure the Thunder play as a team," Thunder WBBL coach Jo Broadbent said.
Aley has been pulling on the baggy blue for the Breakers since 2004-05 and has been a part of nine of the 10 consecutive WNCL titles over that period.
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An experienced campaigner, she brings a strong domestic T20 record to the WBBL.
Sixers WBBL Coach Ben Sawyer said the club was lucky to have Aley in the magenta.
"I have been lucky enough to watch her closely with the Breakers for the past three seasons," Sawyer said.
"Week in week out she is amongst the best players in the competition."
While the Sydney rivals are used to being in opposition on the field, the franchises will share off-field support during WBBL|01, with both clubs signing XVenture as their first WBBL sponsor.
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Thunder general manager Nick Cummins said the club was delighted to work with XVenture, who specialise in experiential, team and leadership programs.
"The WBBL is an important step forward for women's cricket, and it is the support of progressive organisations such as XVenture that will ensure that the competition thrives," Cummins said.
Last month, Brisbane Heat became the first WBBL team to announce a major sponsor in Queensland-based healthcare company Epic Pharmacy.