The Sri Lankan record-breaker who tore apart Australia’s bowling line-up during the Women’s World Cup has signed with the Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming Rebel WBBL season.
Chamari Atapattu, the first Sri Lanka player to appear in the WBBL, was one of three recruits unveiled by the Renegades on Thursday alongside wicketkeeper Emma Inglis, who has moved from cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars, and former Thunder player Claire Koski.
The Renegades also confirmed the re-signings of Maitlan Brown, Kris Britt, Georgia Wareham and Tayla Vlaeminck.
Renegades head coach Tim Coyle – an assistant with the Australian team – had a first-hand view when Atapattu smashed an unbeaten 178 against Australia in Bristol in late June, with her knock enough to convince him to sign the Sri Lankan.
“Chamari brings an international “x factor” which you need in T20 cricket,” Coyle said.
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to re-sign Kris in an expanded role and Maitlan, Georgia and Tayla who continue to perform well as their careers develop.
In Claire and Emma we have signed two experienced state players.
“We’ve left our final two contracted positions open for now.
“We’ll review the opening two rounds of the WNCL and club level and see who would make good additions to our squad.”
Renegades squad: Amy Satterthwaite (Capt, NZ), Molly Strano (VC), Sophie Molineux, Jess Duffin, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Hayley Jensen, Emma Inglis, Maitlan Brown, Claire Koski, Georgia Wareham, Chamari Atapattu (SL), Tayla Vlaeminck
The Sydney Sixers have announced the re-signing of four key players ahead of WBBL|03, with allrounders Sarah Aley, Ange Reakes and Emily Leys signing on for another season alongside spinner Lauren Smith.
All four members of the WBBL|02 Championship winning side contributed to the success of the team last season, with Aley a standout as the leading wicket taker and player of the match in the final.
Reakes adds great depth in the bowling and batting stocks, while Smith featured in last season’s top ten wicket takers and Leys provides an option with both bat and ball.
"Sarah is not only an inspiration to her team mates but to the coaching staff as well,” Sixers coach Ben Sawyer said.
"The thorough way that she prepares herself for each and every WBBL match is something that everyone in our time can try to emulate, and it is no surprise to any of us that she was rewarded with an Australian cap at the end of WBBL|02.
"Angela is a talented cricketer and we are extremely lucky that she has once again agreed to sign with our club.
"Lauren is a highly valued member of our squad, having an outstanding WBBL 02 season.
"I know that Emily has worked hard with a number of coaches in preparation for WBBL 03 to give herself the best chance of success in this year’s tournament, and I look forward to seeing where her game can go in the coming season."
Sixers squad: Ellyse Perry (C), Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Lauren Cheatle, Ash Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Emily Leys, Ange Reakes and Lauren Smith.
The Hobart Hurricanes’ have locked in their first two international recruits for WBBL|03, signing England opener Lauren Winfield and India star Veda Krishnamurthy.
After two seasons with the Brisbane Heat, Winfield said she hoped a strong English flavor to both Hobart teams would mean support from back home was strong.
“It’s great that we’ve signed Tom Curran and Tymal Mills for the BBL, so hopefully the fans back home in England can really get behind us and the Hurricanes,” she said.
“Hopefully we’re well-supported in Tasmania as well.”
It has also been confirmed England captain Heather Knight, who skippered the Hurricanes in WBBL|02, will not take part in the WBBL this season, with a foot injury she sustained at the World Cup needing time to heal.
The English and Wales Cricket Board have said that Knight’s injury can be managed through the women’s Ashes series, but the period immediately after the series has been identified as an opportunity for recuperation.
Hurricanes squad: Emma Thompson, Erin Fazackerley, Brooke Hepburn, Georgia Redmayne, Veronica Pyke, Katelyn Fryett, Celeste Raack, Sasha Moloney, Veda Krishnamurthy (Ind), Lauren Winfield (Eng)