Three new players have added in the squad of Melbourne Stars for the upcoming edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). WBBL 06 will see the experienced former Australia spinner Erin Osborne, 17-year-old Tess Flintoff and 16-year-old Georgia Gall playing for Stars.
Osborne, the off-spin all-rounder who has played 121 international games for Australia, has signed a new deal with the Stars. On the other hand, Flintoff who made her WBBL debut last season and played 13 games for Stars will be seen again. For the Georgis, this is her maiden season and all set make her debut in the league.
Melbourne Stars despite having quality players, failed to do well most of the times. However, new coach Trent Woodhill believes with the inclusion of these players will change the disappointing history of the club in the competition.
“Erin is a wily and tough competitor who proved again last season that her leadership around the group is really valuable,” Woodhill said. “In Tess and Georgia, we’ve signed two young players with a view to the future. Tess got her first taste of the WBBL last year and showed some real talent and Georgia will benefit from the experience this year.”
— Weber Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) August 12, 2020
Stars had won only 2 matches out of 14 last season. With the return of experienced Meg Lanning for the WBBL 06 will provide a much-needed boost. Apart from Erin, leg-spinner Alana King is the other spin option for the club.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Stars since making the move to Melbourne for WBBL,” Osborne, who has been with the club since WBBL|03, said. “Over the last few years the club has done exceptionally well in developing quality young players. I am excited about the prospects for the upcoming season.”
Tess Flintoff, a pace-bowling allrounder, is one of the promising youngsters who made her Victorian state debut last summer, whereas Gall, who belongs to Euroa in country Victoria, was selected to represent the Cricket Australia XI in last year’s national under-18 championships as well.
Despite these signings, still have six spots left to fill on Stars’ squad for the WBBL 06 which included three international places as well. Last year they had South African duo Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez, and New Zealand keeper-batter Katey Martin.
However, Lee has signed with the Melbourne Renegades whereas Martin is likely not to return after being under-utilised last season. While she featured in nine games only, local Nicole Faltum was handed over the keeping responsibility in the latter part of the tournament as well.
While Meg Lanning likely to take Lee’s place alongside Elyse Villani at the top of the order, but with allrounders, Annabel Sutherland and Osborne the only other players who could bat, leading to the concern of a probable batting depth as well.
“I’ve had discussions with Trent and over the last few days trying to work out what we want the team to look like and what specific players and skills we need to make our team successful,” Lanning said. “We’re looking at many options that are out there and how they can fit into what we need.”
“I think there’ll potentially be quite a bit of movement this year … that’s a really exciting thing for the competition that people are willing to move for opportunity and there is plenty of opportunity. There’s certainly some players we’ll target and build to build a really strong team,” she further added.
Melbourne Stars squad so far for WBBL 06:
Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani, Annabel Sutherland, Alana King, Holly Ferling, Erin Osborne, Tess Flintoff, Georgia Gall, Nicole Faltum