The Melbourne Renegades have lured England batter Tammy Beaumont back to the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League as a replacement for Amy Satterthwaite who recently announced her pregnancy.
Beaumont, a top-order batter who spent the second and third editions of the competition with the Adelaide Strikers, joins fellow England batter Danni Wyatt alongside Lea Tahuhu as the Renegades’ international talent for the new season that starts October 18.
Last year’s semi-finalists have also poached allrounder Mackinley Blows from the Melbourne Stars and bowler Carly Leeson from the Sydney Sixers. Cricket Victoria contracted player Courtney Neale has earned her first Big Bash contract, while the re-signings of Erica Kershaw and Courtney Webb mean the Renegades have completed their roster for WBBL|05.
However, the Renegades are yet to announce who will step up as captain while Satterthwaite fulfils an off-field coaching role for the side during her pregnancy.
Beaumont, named as one of Widsen’s 2019 Cricketers of the Year, will bolster the stocks of a well-balanced squad that boasts Australia talent Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham, as well as promising young keeper-batter Josie Dooley who has made the move south after helping the Brisbane Heat to last year’s title.
Beaumont, 28, has played 144 games for England, including a key role in the country's 2017 World Cup triumph. More recently, she scored a sixth ODI century in this winter's Ashes to provide England fans with a glimmer of joy in an otherwise underwhelming campaign.
"I’m thrilled to be heading back to the Big Bash. I’ve played against a lot of the talent in the Renegades line-up so it’ll be nice to be playing alongside them this time," Beaumont said.
"The Renegades are a side on the rise and the Big Bash is such a tough competition so I’m looking forward to testing myself against some of the best players in the world."
Renegades coach Tim Coyle is expecting his side to shape up as title contenders after a heartbreaking super-over loss at the hands of the Sixers in last year’s semi-final.
"We’re happy with how our roster has come together for the season ahead. We’re excited to bring some fresh faces into the squad and set ourselves up to up to be challengers for the title this season," Coyle said.
"Tammy has made a real impact on international cricket and we’re pleased to have her on board. While Amy Satterthwaite won’t be available to play, we’ll still benefit from her knowledge in our coaching and preparation."
The Renegades will open their WBBL|05 campaign on October 19 against the Adelaide Strikers at Karen Rolton Oval.
Current Melbourne Renegades squad: Tammy Beaumont (ENG), Makinley Blows, Maitlan Brown, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Carly Leeson, Sophie Molineux, Courtney Neale, Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb, Danni Wyatt (ENG)
Meanwhile in the sunshine state, the Brisbane Heat have scoured the grassroots scene to uncover the talents of 18-year-old off-spinner Lilly Mills who joins the title-winning side for her first season of Big Bash.
A product of the Sunshine Coast, the announcement saw Mills return to Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club where her love of the game was born as an 11-year-old.
"I got hooked on cricket when I watched the Ashes with my Dad,’’ she said.
"I was recovering from an accident where I lost two teeth and because it was painful at night sometimes, Dad would sit with me. I remember watching Jimmy Anderson bowling and thinking this was something I wanted to do."
"Tewantin Noosa was just down the road from where I lived and I got started as soon as I could."
16-year-old Charli Knott of Mackay has also re-committed for a second season of balancing elite sport with her schooling, meaning there is just one vacant marquee spot in the Brisbane Heat roster.
Current Brisbane Heat squad: Lilly Mills, Charli Knott, Haidee Birkett, Laura Harris, Georgia Prestwidge, Mikayla Hinkley, Courtney Sippel, Amelia Kerr (NZ), Sammy-Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney.