Friday, September 24, 2021

Sydney Thunder: WBBL|07 contracting period underway

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Find out how Thunder is shaping up for WBBL|07 as contracting begins

The contracting window for the seventh edition of the WBBL tournament officially opened on Thursday.

Seven members of Sydney Thunder’s title-winning WBBL|06 squad are already locked in.

Young guns Hannah Darlington and Phoebe Litchfield are among those on multi-year deals, as are all-rounder Sammy-Jo Johnson and left-arm spinner Sam Bates. 

Captain Rachael Haynes is one big name off contract, while the international spots have a question mark.

With England to tour Pakistan in October, is it unclear whether England captain Heather Knight or batter Tammy Beaumont will be available to return.

WBBL|07 squad so far: Sam Bates, Hannah Darlington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Lauren Smith  

WBBL|06 squad members off contract: Tammy Beaumont (SA), Rachael Haynes, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail (SA), Heather Knight (Eng), Olivia Porter, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson

As per previous seasons, clubs have an allowance of up to five marquee players and a maximum of three from overseas.

Australian marquees are those who hold a Cricket Australia contract for 2021-22.

An uncertain international schedule means it is unclear how many tours could potentially clash with this summer’s WBBL; currently, the only confirmed series is a visit by England to Pakistan which ends on October 22.

The likelihood that India will tour Australia in September ahead of the WBBL is an encouraging sign that Indian players might feature in the league for the first time since WBBL|04, providing they have no further international engagements in October and November.

It remains to be seen what quarantine requirements will remain in place for entry into Australia which would impact overseas players.

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