Photo Credit: Melbourne Renegades
The Melbourne Renegades have locked in a key pillar for the next two seasons, with captain and star all-rounder Sophie Molineux signing a contract extension.
Molineux, who is a foundation Renegade and the club’s games record holder, will remain in red until at least the end of WBBL|09.
The 24-year-old has played 87 WBBL matches for the Renegades since making her debut as a teenager in WBBL|01. She has gone on to represent Australia on 38 occasions across all three formats in that period and is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner.
Molineux was appointed as captain ahead of last season and led the Renegades back into finals.
The team jumped from seventh in WBBL|06 to second at the conclusion of the WBBL|07 regular season, under the guidance of the first-year captain and first-year coach Simon Helmot.
Molineux said she was hoping to continue the team’s upward trajectory and eager to be back playing WBBL matches in Melbourne after two full seasons interstate due to the pandemic.
“I’m super pumped and really, really optimistic and looking forward to the next couple of years – especially after the last 12 months that we’ve had,” Molineux said.
“I was really lucky to have had that first year of captaincy under Simon Helmot. He definitely took me under his wing, and we had a great group of girls who were very willing to play any role they could for the team.
“It would have been nicer to have gone a couple (of games) deeper in the competition and have won it, but we’ve got a bit of a building block and a template to how we want to play and how we want to feel as a group off the field as well.
“I’m really looking forward to this year, to be able to come back to Melbourne, bring it back to our home state and play some home games in front of our fans.”
In WBBL|07, Molineux was one of the tournament’s most economical bowlers despite regularly bowling in the power play and played various roles with the bat in the top and middle order.
The left-arm spinner conceded just 5.85 runs per over, claiming 10 wickets to take her WBBL total to 67.
“Sophie is one of the best spin bowlers in Australia and a fantastic all-round cricketer who can impact games with bat, ball or in the field,” Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“At just 24 years of age, she is already a proven performer on the international stage and her best cricket is still to come.
“As a captain, Sophie was outstanding last year and her partnership with Simon Helmot in his first year as coach was a real game-changer for us. Sophie is a fierce competitor who leads by example on the field, has a great grasp on the game tactically and has helped to drive a strong culture within the group.
“Sophie is a passionate Renegades person and we couldn’t be more excited to have her committed to being a key part of our future.”