Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The WBBL Brisbane Heat will step boldly into a new era this summer with Australian World Cup trump Jess Jonassen today announced as the new captain of the two-time championship team.Jonassen has re-signed with the Heat for a further three years and will take on the leadership role left vacant by the retirement of Kirby Short at the end of last season.
Jonassen, who was also appointed captain of the Queensland Fire last month, joins fellow Australian player Delissa Kimmince as the club’s confirmed signings for WBBL|06
The 27-year-old allrounder was the Heat’s MVP last season for her efforts with bat and ball, taking the most wickets (21) and scoring the second most runs (419) for the club.
Jonassen was a vital cog in the Heat’s championship winning machine, taking Player of the Match honours in the club’s semi-final win over the Melbourne Renegades where she blazed 38 from 28 balls after a bowling spell that netted the vital wicket of batting rival Jess Duffin.
Jonassen has played 222 career T20 matches to date after making her debut as a teenager for the Queensland Fire against South Australia at the Gabba, claiming 3-10 from three overs.
A foundation WBBL Heat player, she has played 75 matches for Brisbane, scoring 1378 runs including six half centuries and taking 76 wickets at 21.92 with a strike-rate of 21.42.
Her international career includes three Test matches, 68 One Day Internationals and 79 T20 Internationals, including the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 Final in front of 86,174 fans at the MCG earlier this year.
Jonassen’s left-arm spin previously netted her career best figure of 5-12 in the final of the Tri-Series featuring England and India prior to the World Cup to provide her with her first five-wicket haul in a T20 International.
She has taken four wickets in the WBBL on three occasions.
Originally from Rockhampton, Jonassen is eager to meet the challenges that WBBL|06 will provide.
“We know we will be tested on a number of fronts this summer, but I firmly believe we should embrace those challenges and be ready to perform to the best of our ability, individually and as a squad,’’ she said.
“We have seen the WBBL perform an increasingly valuable role in growing the game with women and girls and inspiring them to support and participate in cricket, especially when you see how big the World Cup was for the game in this country.
“As a Heat player, the memories of the support we received at home and away in the past two championship seasons from our fans, and our friends and families, still gives me goosebumps and it is a greatest incentive we have to produce our best again this season,” she said.
“With Kirby stepping down after playing such an influential role with the club, it’s a privilege to take on the job as skipper, and I’m excited to be part of what we are building here.”
Heat coach Ashley Noffke said he was delighted to prepare for the coming season with Jonassen in a leadership role.
“JJ has been a senior player in the group for some time and we know the special qualities she can bring to the group,’’ he said.
“Her international experience is a bonus for us in terms of how we will look to operate within the squad.”
“The leadership is a great chance for her to take her game to another level again after really impressing with her consistency in the past two seasons, which is why we believe she is such an important signing.”
Noffke said the club was making solid progress in assembling its squad for 2020-21, with Brisbane confirmed as the host venue of the opening round.
Allan Border Field will host the repeat of last year’s Final between the Heat and Adelaide Strikers on the opening weekend on October 17 and 18..
The Heat completed back-to-back titles with their six-wicket victory over Adelaide in front of a sold-out crowd.
The opening rounds in the Brisbane hub will also see the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers in action at Allan Border Field.
The WBBL will feature a record number of broadcast matches on Channel 7 and Foxtel, with 23 regular season matches and three finals to be shown.
The remaining 33 games will be streamed live on the CA Live app, cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.