There’s been plenty happening behind the scenes in the land of the WBBL and today, with tickets on sale and a whole bunch of new signings, it’s time to take a step back and look at how the squads are shaping up.
Firstly, a few reminders. Squads will again feature 15 players, with an allowance of up to five marquee players and a maximum of three coming from overseas. Australian marquees are players who held a Cricket Australia contract at the beginning of the WBBL|05 contracting period last February.
The WBBL contracting deadline is on October 11, with the season to start on October 18, so there is still plenty of time for more moving and shaking to come!
Alright – now let’s get stuck in. Here are the squads as they stand on August 15, just over two months out from the start of the season.
Roster spots to fill: Five Marquees signed: Four
In: Katie Mack (Stars) Out: Dani Hazell (ENG)
Current squad: Suzie Bates (NZ), Sarah Cady, Sophie Devine (NZ), Ellie Falconer, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Bridget Patterson, Tabatha Saville, Megan Schutt (AUS), Amanda-Jade Wellington (AUS)
Armed with plenty of star power and with new coach Luke Williams on board, the Strikers are poised to bounce back from a scratchy WBBL|04 campaign. The recent re-signing of Kiwi ‘Smash Sisters’ Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates was welcome news for Strikers fans given Devine had an outstanding WBBL|04, amassing 556 runs for the season, with Bates not far behind on 421.
It’s also handy having the world No.1 ranked T20I bowler in Megan Schutt at your disposal. New signing Katie Mack arrives from the Stars and will be sure to alleviate some of the top-order pressure on Bates and Devine. Meanwhile, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Tahlia McGrath are currently flying the Strikers flag in the English Super League and will touch down in Australia with plenty of T20 cricket under their belts this year.
Roster spots to fill: Nine Marquee players signed: Three
In: None Out: Jemma Barsby (Scorchers), Josie Dooley (Renegades)
Current squad: Grace Harris, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen (AUS), Delissa Kimmince (AUS), Beth Mooney (AUS), Kirby Short
With nine roster spots to fill ahead of WBBL|05, the current trophy holders are keeping us on our toes as to whether we’ll see a similar team lining up in teal, or a new look Brisbane Heat.
But with Aussie trio Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince and Beth Mooney already locked and loaded as well top performers from last season like Grace Harris and Sammy-Jo Johnson, the Heat stocks are still looking as strong as ever. The Heat have farewelled talented keeper-batter Josie Dooley, who has headed down south to join the Melbourne Renegades, as well as Jemma Barsby, who has signed with the Perth Scorchers.
Roster spots to fill: Five Marquee players signed: Three
In: Nicola Carey (Thunder), Maisy Gibson (Thunder), Belinda Vakarewa (Thunder), Tayla Vlaeminck (Renegades)
Out: Veronica Pyke (retired), Georgia Redmayne (Scorchers)
Current squad: Nicola Carey (AUS), Stefanie Daffara, Erin Fazackerley, Katelyn Fryett, Maisy Gibson, Heather Knight (ENG), Hayley Matthews (WI), Meg Phillips, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck
There’s been a fair bit of player movement in the lead-up to the fifth edition of the WBBL, and plenty of it has centered on Hobart! After finishing at the bottom of the table last year, the Hurricanes’ brains trust decided it was time for a facelift and have called in reinforcements. In an apparent pilgrimage from Sydney to Hobart, three big names – Aussie allrounder Nicola Carey, Belinda Vakarewa and Maisy Gibson - have all made the shift from the Thunder to the Hurricanes for WBBL|05.
Another huge scalp for the Hurricanes is 20-year-old Tayla Vlaeminck, the Victorian fast bowler who made her Ashes debut for Australia in July and is finally injury free and bowling heat. With England captain Heather Knight and West Indies T20 gun Hayley Matthews at the top of the order, the all-round talent of Carey, plus Vlaeminck and Vakarewa steaming in, the Hurricanes are finally shaping up as a force to be reckoned with.
Roster spots to fill: Five
Marquee players signed: Five
In: Josie Dooley (Heat)
Out: Tayla Vlaeminck (Hurricanes)
Current squad: Maitlan Brown, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Claire Koski, Sophie Molineux (AUS), Amy Satterthwaite (NZ), Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Georgia Wareham (AUS), Danni Wyatt (ENG)
Fresh off a maiden finals campaign last season, the Melbourne Renegades’ squad only looks to be getting stronger as the young talent in the team gains more experience. Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux received their first Cricket Australia contracts this year so have been bumped up to marquee status, and with the added international experience of Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu and Danni Wyatt, the Renegades are already maxed out on marquee players. So they’ve lured keeper-batter Josie Dooley south from the Brisbane Heat to join her fellow National Performance Squad member Maitlan Brown, who both toured England with Australia A earlier this year.
Roster spots to fill: Five
Marquee players signed: Two
In: Elyse Villani (Scorchers)
Out: Katie Mack (Strikers)
Current squad: Kristen Beams, Mignon du Preez (SA), Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Nicola Hancock, Alana King, Erin Osborne, Angela Reakes, Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani (AUS)
After a somewhat flat finish to the WBBL|04 season, the Melbourne Stars were looking for a boost – and who better than Elyse Villani to provide that boost! An explosive top order batter with a heap of international experience, Villani loves playing T20 cricket and joins the Stars after a successful stint with the Scorchers.
Alongside the experience of Kristen Beams and Holly Ferling, we’ll see exciting young-guns Nicole Faltum and Annabel Sutherland line up in green once again, as well as leg-spinning sensation Alana King. South African import Mignon du Preez is back for another season, but with three spots for marquee players still to fill, the Stars will be on the hunt for some more big names.
Roster spots to fill: One
Marquee players signed: Four
In: Jemma Barsby (Heat), Samantha Betts (Strikers), Kath Hempenstall (WA), Georgia Redmayne (Hurricanes), Nat Sciver (ENG),
Out: Megan Banting, Lauren Ebsary (retired), Emily Smith, Kate Cross, Bhavish Devchand, Hayley Jensen, Elyse Villani (Stars)
Current squad: Jemma Barsby, Samantha Betts, Nicole Bolton (AUS), Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham, Kath Hempenstall, Amy Jones (ENG), Emma King, Meg Lanning (AUS), Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Georgia Redmayne, Natalie Sciver (ENG)
Talk about bombshells! The folks over in the Wild West today announced the signing of 12 players to all but complete their roster for WBBL|05, with five new faces set to compete in orange this season.
English opener Amy Jones is back again and will be joined by countrywoman Nat Sciver, who is returning to the Scorchers after a hiatus from the WBBL last year. Elyse Villani departs, but Australia A representative Georgia Redmayne will be a handy addition to Meg Lanning’s already strong batting line-up. On the bowling front, Heather Graham was last season’s leading wicket-taker and will be looking to emulate that form, while Kath Hempenstall is a pace bowler who, at 30 years old, is donning a Big Bash shirt for the first time since 2016.
Roster spots to fill: Three Marquee players signed: Five
In: Maddy Darke Out: Sara McGlashan (retired), Tahlia Wilson (Thunder)
Current squad: Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Ellyse Perry, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Dane van Niekerk (SA), Lauren Smith
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Last year’s finalists and the WBBL03 champions have an incredibly complete line-up already so the lack of change is completely understandable. With Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner at the top of the order and Marizanne Kapp spearheading a bowling attack that also benefits from the skills of Perry and Gardner, it’s becoming hard to imagine a world where the Sixers aren’t a dominant side.
But don’t get to thinking it’s just international superstars making up the Sixers’ roster; Australia Under 19s keeper-batter Maddy Darke was announced today as the newest member of the magenta army, while 15-year-old Hayley Silver-Holmes is back for a second season.
Roster spots to fill: Ten Marquee players signed: None
In: Tahlia Wilson Out: Nicola Carey (Hurricanes), Maisy Gibson (Hurricanes), Belinda Vakarewa (Hurricanes),
Current squad: Sam Bates, Lisa Griffith, Saskia Horley, Naomi Stalenberg, Tahlia Wilson
The departure of Nicola Carey, Maisy Gibson and Belinda Vakarewa is bound to have rocked the Thunder faithful. Add to that, a bunch of key players out of contract at the end of WBBL|04 means the Thunder roster is looking a little light on.
Promising keeper-batter, 19-year-old Tahlia Wilson was lured to join the lime green from cross-town rivals, the Sixers, but it seems there is still some signature hunting to do. Questions remain around the re-signing of Rachael Haynes, Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell – but we can assume there is plenty happening in Thunder camp to ensure last year’s semi-finalists remain as strong as ever.