The Sydney Thunder have re-signed promising young right-arm quick Belinda Vakarewa for two seasons as the club draws near to finalising their list for WBBL|03.
The 19-year-old has been part of the Thunder Nation since the inaugural Rebel WBBL season, playing 18 matches across the first two summers.
She has picked up seven scalps with a neat economy rate of 6.09, and has also contributed in the field with six catches.'
Vakarewa, a NSW Breakers Academy graduate, has been plying her trade in the WNCL and was selected in the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes squad.
She recently played for the ACT Invitational XI in a three-day tour match against the Southern Stars, collecting 1-18 with an economy of 2.15 across both innings.
But Vakarewa will soon turn her attentions to the shortest format of the game, and said she was excited to be back with the Thunder for WBBL|03.
“I love how exciting it (WBBL) is, how much faster it is and how much skill there is in the women’s game, even in such a quick format,” she said.
“I suppose the main goal for the season would be to win the competition and bring back the trophy.
“The thing I like most about being with the Thunder is just the vibe in the group that we have – everyone gets on really well and it’s always a laugh.”
Vakarewa was part of the Thunder’s WBBL|01 championship-winning XI just two days after her 18th birthday.
Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon was looking forward to seeing Vakarewa continue to develop her game.
"She is one of the most exciting talents in Australia and I'm obviously thrilled she has decided to commit for a further two years," he said.
"She brings some real explosiveness with the white ball and is a superb athlete."
Vakarewa is the Thunder’s 12th signing, with three spots left to fill before next Friday’s WBBL contracting deadline.
Sydney Thunder open their WBBL|03 campaign against the Melbourne Renegades on December 9 and follow up with the Sydney Smash against Harbour City rivals Sydney Sixers the following day in a bumper opening weekend at North Sydney Oval.
Current Thunder squad: Alex Blackwell (C), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffiths, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Belinda Vakarewa.
Melbourne Renegades on Friday afternoon announced the signing of promising allrounder Rhiann O'Donnell, who will join Plenty Valley teammate Tayla Vlaeminck in the side.
The 19-year-old has averaged 32.5 with the bat for Plenty Vally this season, and also shapes as a bowling prospect for the 'Gades.
"It's very exciting to have my first season in the Big Bash and I can't wait to get started, and what better way to do it than in the red," O'Donnell said. "I'm going to aim to play a role with the bat in the middle order and try to work it around.
"I'll be trying to play my role for the team - I like to think I'm pretty versatile and can add to the skills we've already got."
O'Donnell is the Renegades' 14th signing ahead of next week's contracting deadline.
Melbourne Renegades squad: Amy Satterthwaite (C), Molly Strano, Sophie Molineux, Jess Duffin, Lea Tahuhu, Hayley Jensen, Emma Inglis, Kris Britt, Maitlan Brown, Claire Koski, Georgia Wareham, Chamari Atapattu, Tayla Vlaeminck, Rhiann O'Donnell.