Sydney Sixers’ championship player Kim Garth will again be one of eight international cricketers joining the Rebel WBBL clubs this summer as part of the ICC Rookie Placement Program.
The bowling allrounder was the remarkable success story of the program last year, playing six matches for the Sixers including their final triumph.
The program, which is the joint initiative of Cricket Australian and the International Cricket Council, will see players from Scotland, Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea and the Netherlands join the WBBL clubs for two-week placements.
Head of the Big Bash Kim McConnie said she was delighted to work with the ICC on the project, which enables players to experience elite cricket environments, accelerate their development through training sessions and take back what they have learnt to their respective national teams.
"The WBBL has gone from strength to strength and it's pleasing to again have the ICC's support in making this initiative possible," she said.
"Women’s cricket across the globe is continuing to advance and we’re proud to support this initiative to not only grow these member countries’ players, but also continue to develop the WBBL and some of the best players in the world.
"Last year, we saw Ireland’s Kim Garth become the first rookie to represent their club and she ended up being part of the Sydney Sixers’ championship-winning side, so we are excited to see what this year's crop has to offer."
Garth last year had unexpected exposure to WBBL matches, with her arrival coinciding with South Africa pair Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk being called away temporarily for national duties. Her stay in the side was extended when captain Ellyse Perry went down to a hamstring injury on the eve of finals.
She will again join the Sixers at the back end of the tournament, joining the side from January 21 - February 4
The other rookies selected for WBBL|03 are Scotland’s Kathryn Bryce (Strikers) and Sarah Bryce (Hurricanes), Bangladesh pair Rumana Ahmed (Heat) and Khadija Tul Kubra (Stars), Ireland’s Gaby Lewis (Renegades), Papua New Guinea’s Ravini Oa (Scorchers), and Netherlands’ Sterre Kalis (Thunder).
ICC Women’s Cricket Officer Holly Colvin said the ICC was happy to work with CA and the WBBL to provide the opportunity for the eight "upcoming talents"
"This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the WBBL, Cricket Australian and the Member Federations of the selected rookies," she said. “The women’s game has gained significant momentum this year and it is an exciting time for the eight rookies as we invest in the growth of the sport.”
A blockbuster Opening Weekend will launch WBBL|03 on December 9 and 10. The carnival-style weekend at North Sydney Oval will feature four matches, to be broadcast live on Network Ten’s main channel, while two matches at Glenelg’s Gliderol Stadium will be live streamed.
WBBL|03 International Rookies
Adelaide Strikers: Kathryn Bryce (Scotland, December 8-22)
Brisbane Heat: Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh, January 10-29)
Hobart Hurricanes: Sarah Bryce (Scorland, December 15-31)
Melbourne Renegades: Gaby Lewis (Ireland, December 29 - January 12)
Melbourne Stars: Khadija Tul Kubra (Bangladesh, January 16-29)
Perth Scorchers: Ravini Oa (Papua New Guinea, December 28 - January 8)
Sydney Sixers: Kim Garth (Ireland, January 21 - February 4 )
Sydney Thunder: Sterre Kalis (Netherlands, December 7-21).