WBBL08 Preview: Adelaide Strikers to Melbourne Renegades
THE EIGHTH Edition of the WBBL starts this week, and to celebrate and count down to the tournament, we will be previewing all the teams in a two part series.
In this first part of the preview series we are going to take a look at the first four teams alphabetically – Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades.
After finishing as the runners up in WBBL07, Adelaide will be certainly hoping to go one better in WBBL08, and with a largely settled squad, there is no reason to suggest that is out of the equation.
There is quite a bit of WBBL experience that has left the squad, but a lot of raw talent has come in to replace it.
Among the inclusions for Adelaide this season is none other then Deandra Dottin, with the West Indian set to bring some huge hitting power into her new side.
Adelaide’s other two inclusions are rawer talent, but no less exciting.
Ella Wilson is a teenage fast bowler and middle order batter who was an injury replacement player for the Strikers last season but gets her first full contract, and this comes off her earning her first Scorpion’s contract this summer.
Anesu Mushangwe is a leg spinner who has been a star at South Australian Premier Cricket level and gets rewarded with her shot at WBBL level.
She is also a Zimbabwean international with an economy rate of just 3.1 across her 21 T20I appearances, but as an Australian permanent resident she qualifies to play as a local.
They replace Sarah Coyte who has left to the Renegades, and Nell Bryson-Smith and South African star Dane van Niekerk, with the latter pair not returning to the WBBL this season.
WBBL08 Squad: Darcie Brown, Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Jemma Barsby, Meagan Dixon, Katie Mack, Anesu Mushangwe, Tegan McPharlin, Annie O’Neil, Bridget Patterson, Maddie Penna, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Ella Wilson
The Heat finished fourth last season, so after being knocked out in the Eliminator will be looking to keep marching up the ladder in Season 8.
From a local perspective, their squad is pretty consistent from last season, with only Grace Parsons coming in for the Renegade bound Georgia Prestwidge.
Zoe Cooke is unavailable this season because of a back injury, so she is replaced in the side by Lucy Hamilton.
However, it’s the internationals where the Heat have really made some changes.
The Heat have brought in big hitting English top order star Danni Wyatt, who – after a somewhat wobbly Commonwealth Games – will be looking for a huge season with the Heat.
The Heat have also brought in Indian star Pooja Vastrakar, who’s a quick bowler and a big hitting low order batsman.
Amelia Kerr is also back in the side, and will be joined for at least the first few games by sister Jess, who comes into the team temporarily until Vastrakar and Wyatt can come Down Under.
The replace South African pair Anneke Bosch and Nadine de Klerk, and Indian star Poonam Yadav.
WBBL08 Squad: Jess Jonassen, Amelia Kerr (NZ), Pooja Vastrakar (India), Danni Wyatt (England), Lucy Hamilton, Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Ellie Johnston, Charli Knott, Grace Parsons, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippell, Georgia Voll
The Hurricanes finished sixth last season, and so will been keen to have a much better season this time around.
They certainly had a busy offseason looking to plug the holes in their squad.
Many of this season’s inclusions also ply their trade for the Tigers in the WNCL, and have come to the Apple Isle in the past few seasons.
Among the highest profile of these inclusions is Tassie skipper Elyse Villani, who will be reunited with former Stars teammate Lizelle Lee, who also joins the team in purple this season.
Heather Graham also comes into the Hurricanes squad this season, as does Emma Mannix-Geeves, who gets reward for some excellent WNCL performances last season.
English star Issy Wong was also supposed to join the side this season, but was a late withdrawal because the higher ups wanted to manage her workload after a busy English summer.
Instead, the Hurricanes are bringing in Kiwi bowler Hayley Jensen.
These inclusions replace some big outs, including the likes of the Renegades bound Tayla Vlaeminck, Sasha Moloney who is off to the Stars, and Angela Genford and Belinda Vakarewa who are off to the Sixers and Thunder respectively.
WBBL08 Squad: Elyse Vllani, Nicola Carey, Julia Cavanough, Lizelle Lee (South Africa), Mignon du Preez (South Africa), Hayley Jensen (NZ), Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham, Ruth Johnston, Emma Manix-Geeves, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Amy Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Rachel Trenaman
The surprise packets of WBBL07, the Renegades will certainly be looking to improve on their third place finish last season and take that next step and make the final.
One way to describe the Renegades’ list of inclusions is experienced. There are a number of them, but they bring in a lot of experienced.
Among the list of local inclusions the Renegades have brought in this season is Vlaeminck back in from Hobart, as previously mention Sarah Coyte from the Strikers as well as Georgia Prestwidge from the Heat. They’ve also brought in Erica Kershaw, who will really be looking to make the most of her opportunity at this level as she has struggled to lock down national level contracts in the past.
However, they will have to wait to use the services of Vlaeminck, and will be looking for two local replacements for this season as she and Georgia Wareham are out this season due to injury.
Their two internationals are exciting and going to bring a lot of flare to the team.
South African Shabnim Ismail is a scarily quick bowler, who will terrorise opponents.
Hayley Matthews on the other hand is an opening batter who at times single handily carried Barbados at the recent Commonwealth Games.
These inclusions replace Jemimah Rodrigues who is off to the Stars and Jess Duffin who is busy playing in the AFLW, as well as Eve Jones, Makinley Blows and Poppy Gardner.
WBBL08 Squad: Sophie Molineux, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham, Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa), Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Sarah Coyte, Josie Dooley, Ellen Falconer, Ella Hayward, Erica Kershaw, Carly Leeson, Rhiann O’Donnell, Georgia Prestwidge, Courtney Webb