BOOM recruit Suzie Bates will captain Adelaide Strikers this summer as they strive for their first Rebel WBBL finals appearance.
The star international signing, who captains New Zealand’s national team, led the Perth Scorchers to the WBBL|02 final, and was lured to the blue team to bolster its leadership stocks as it looks to capitalise on a talented playing list, which features Australia Women’s Ashes players Megan Schutt, Tahlia McGrath and Amanda-Jade Wellington.
Bates, a veteran of almost 200 matches for the White Ferns, will carry good form into the tournament, having top-scored for her country in the ICC World Cup this year and also putting in an incredible 119-run knock from just 72 balls to post the first century of the England Super League in August.
The powerful allrounder, who made her international debut as an 18-year-old in 2006, assumes the Strikers’ captaincy from wicketkeeper Tegan McPharlin, who led the side in WBBL|02.
Bates said she was looking forward to working closely with the other leaders in the playing group to try to bring more success to a team that has dwelled at the foot of the ladder in the opening two seasons.
"We have several talented overseas players and current Australian squad members in the side, and I can’t wait to lead and learn from these players," she said.
"I want to work hard and lead by example off the field and allow the team to express and enjoy themselves on the field.
"I can't wait to get off to a good start to the season at home against the Hurricanes."
Bates, who joins fellow White Fern Suzie Bates in the Strikers’ squad, boasts a decorated cricket history, and was a former Olympic basketballer.
In 2016, she became the first cricketer to be named the ICC Women’s One Day International and Twenty20 International player of the year.
The Strikers start their WBBL|03 campaign against Hobart Hurricanes with a double-header at Glenelg’s Gliderol Stadium this weekend.
Their matches start at 2pm ACDT on Saturday and 12pm ACDT on Sunday.
Complete Strikers WBBL|03 squad: Suzie Bates (C), Rhiannon Dick, Annie O’Neil, Ellie Falconer, Tammy Beaumont, Sophie Devine, Megan Schutt, Amanda Wellington, Samantha Betts, Tahlia McGrath, Katelyn Pope, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Tegan McPharlin, Bridget Patterson, Kathryn Bryce (ICC Rookie two-week placement)