Brisbane Heat has successfully filled in the void left by New Zealand star, Amelia Kerr’s withdrawal, after adding India’s Poonam Yadav to the squad.
After showcasing some skills against the Australians and her memorable 4-19 in last year’s World Cup, she has been able to secure a spot in the WBBL for the first time ever. Her addition to the team is stimulating to the Heats as Head Coach, Ashley Noffke, shares, “When we lost Amelia Kerr, we were confident we could back our group to give a good account of themselves regardless but adding Poonam’s skill and her competitiveness is a huge result.”
“She is a different type of bowler to Melie, and we are clear on how we can best utilise her talents in our line-up,” said Noffke. Poonam Yadav too, must be anticipating her league debut as she gets an opportunity to play and train alongside Anneke Bosch and Nadine de Klerk. “Jess Jonassen has played against her and as captain, she is very keen to work alongside her now she is with the Heat,” added the coach.
Along with Yadav, eight other Indians are to participate in the WBBL this year. It includes Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav who will play with the Sixers, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma with the Thunders, Richa Ghosh with the Hurricanes and Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur will play with the Renegades. Clashes among these Indians and their performance in the Big Bash is highly sought.
Kerr will be keeping out of the league this year as she has decided to prioritize her mental well being. After fixing Poonam’s spot in the squad, the team is now well rounded with 4 changes in all. With Hancock’s resignation, two ACT Meteors pace bowlers were signed on Thursday: Zoe Cooke and Nicola Hancock.
All-rounder Cooke who remained uncapped with the Renegades last season is looking forward to her first WBBL this season with the Heat after having fought a severe back injury. She has been able to perform impressively well in the domestic one-day cup, as she delivered at an economy of 3.97.
This might have caught Noffke’s eye, who shares, “Zoe didn’t play in the Meteors’ win over Queensland early in the season as she was coming back from her injury, but we certainly had our eye on her by the end of the WNCL tournament. Nic Hancock did a great job for us last year and as we were keen to reinforce our pace stocks for WBBL|07, Zoe looked to be a very good fit for us. She can swing the new ball and is a good mover in the field. She has worked very hard to get back from injury with the Meteors and we’re really pleased to be able to offer her the opportunity to further her cricket career in the WBBL.”
The Heats will play their first game against Perth Scorchers at Blundstone Arena on October 17. The Scorchers too seem to have rounded up their 15 player squad by recruiting Amy Edgar, Ashley Day, Lisa Griffith and Lilly Mills. Off-spinner Mills was previously contracted with the Heat whereas Griffith moves from the Sixers to the Heats this year.
Some changes have been made to the Sixers squad, as Hayley Silver-Holmes is ruled out due to the hip injury she incurred and has been replaced by young Claire Moore. After being added to the Sixers’ squad Moore said, “Hayley and I have played a lot of cricket together at school, club, and NSW Pathways levels, so it’s ironic that my chance in the WBBL has come following her injury. I really feel for Hayley. She is such a good player and has so much talent. I hope I can take this opportunity with both hands and represent both of us.”
Brisbane Heat WBBL|07 squad: Jess Jonassen* (c), Anneke Bosch (SA), Nadine de Klerk (SA), Poonam Yadav (Ind), Zoe Cooke, Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Ellie Johnston, Laura Kimmince, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll
*CA contracted player