Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The Brisbane Heat will celebrate the return of world class allrounder Amelia Kerr and welcome English batter Bess Heath for the Weber Women’s Big Bash League in the wake of today’s inaugural International Player Draft.
Kerr was picked at number six by Brisbane in the Platinum round, while Heath was chosen at pick 19 in the Silver round.
“I’m very happy to be back with Brisbane,’’ Kerr said from New Zealand tonight.
“I’ve loved playing for the club since 2019 and have a great relationship with all the players and staff. Hopefully we can do something special this year.”— Amelia Kerr
It will be the fourth WBBL campaign with Brisbane for the 22-year-old Kerr while Heath, also 22, will play for the Heat for the first time after being part of the Melbourne Stars set-up last summer.
Brisbane Heat coach Noffke is fresh from a stint coaching the London Spirit in The Hundred in England which featured Kerr in the squad.
“Internally we were clear all the way along that we wanted to have Melie involved with us again, but it was good to connect with her in England during The Hundred and check in on her plans for the rest of the year,’’ he said.
“She’s a wonderful player who continues to evolve as a world class player, one of the very best in our game. The squad are very pleased to welcome Melie back and we’re excited about the season ahead,” Noffke said.
Kerr was the Heat MVP in WBBL|06 and again last season, scoring 295 runs and taking 21 wickets to be the only international player named in the Team of the Tournament for WBBL|08.
In her 46 WBBL matches to date for Brisbane, she has scored 499 runs and taken 52 wickets at an outstanding economy rate of 6.19.
Noffke also noted the efforts of Heath, a hard-hitting right-hander who can also keep wickets.
“She’s a player on the rise, and it was no surprise to see her named last week in the English squad – hopefully she will make her international T20 debut in the series against Sri Lanka that is underway in England,’’ he said.
Heath, who played seven WBBL games for the Stars last season as an International replacement player for Jemimah Rodrigues, was a member of the Northern Superchargers that finished as runners-up in the Final of the Hundred last month.
A right-hand better, her full name of Bess Alice May and free-scoring batting style has earned Heath a suitably appropriate nickname of BAM.
She made her country cricket debut for Derbyshire as a 13-year-old and could have gone down a professional rugby union pathway after being offered a chance to trial with Worcestershire Warriors, before opting for cricket.
She has played for England ‘A’ in the past two seasons, including against Australia ‘A’ during the winter which will now see her become teammates with recent opponents Charli Knott and Courtney Sippel.
Brisbane did not use its retention pick during the draft and whilst drafting two players, has the option to also finalise a direct nomination agreement with an overseas players who has opted to bypass the draft.
The players who have opted for this approach are England trio Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones, South Africa pair Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, and New Zealand’s Suzie Bates.
Brisbane has two spots left to complete its 15-player squad.
WBBL|09: Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Ellie Johnston, Jess Jonassen, Charli Knott, Grace Parsons, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll. Internationals: Amelia Kerr (NZ), Bess Heath (England).
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