Perth Scorchers: WBBL Season Preview – Scorchers keen to return to the finals fold

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Photo Credit: Perth Scorchers

After a disappointing WBBL|08 campaign which saw them narrowly miss the finals, WBBL|09 presents as a new and exciting opportunity for the Perth Scorchers, with the playing group heading into the season with plenty of optimism.

Under new Head Coach Becky Grundy, who takes over the role from current Australian Women’s Head Coach Shelley Nitschke, the Scorchers will be hoping to replicate their title-winning form from WBBL|07.

The playing squad is in great shape, with 14 players signed on for the upcoming campaign, including returning New Zealand international Sophie Devine, who will captain the side for a fourth consecutive season.

Perth also secured experienced English wicketkeeper batter Amy Jones via ‘direct nomination’, with the 30-year-old adding valuable international experience to a relatively young playing group.

Alongside Devine and Jones, the club also drafted dashing English batter Danni Wyatt with Pick 11 in the inaugural Overseas player draft, but she won’t be representing Perth this summer after withdrawing from the tournament due to fatigue.

In an exciting sign for the future, six local players have recommitted to the club, with five of them locked into multiple-year deals.

Towering fast bowler Stella Campbell joins the Scorchers from Sydney Sixers, where she played 45 matches and took 21 wickets at 30.81 including a best of 2-12.

She will join an exciting fast bowling group featuring experienced pair Taneale Peschel and Piepa Cleary, captain Sophie Devine and exciting seamer Chloe Ainsworth.

Club games record holder Chloe Piparo will suit up in orange for a ninth WBBL campaign, joining foundation Scorcher Piepa Cleary in signing on for the next two seasons.

Cleary and Piparo are the current longest-serving Scorchers, with Piparo becoming only the second player to achieve the 100 WBBL game milestone for the club.

Offspinner Lilly Mills, wicketkeeper batter Maddy Darke, Ainsworth and Lisa Griffith have also signed on.

Key Players

Sophie Devine

Devine returns to Perth for a fourth straight season, having been retained with the Scorchers platinum selection in the Overseas player draft.

The New Zealand international will be a key figure this season, with the 34-year-old superstar expected to take up more responsibility with the ball.

She will be hoping to return to her destructive best with bat in hand too, whether at the top or in the middle order.

Crowned Player of the Tournament in WBBL|05 and WBBL|06, Devine sits third on the competition’s list for runs scored, compiling 3,258 runs (three centuries, 19 half-centuries) including 1,084 for the Scorchers.

Devine dominating games with her power-hitting only means good things for the Scorchers.

Beth Mooney

Mooney is one of the finest ever players to play in the WBBL competition. The most consistent player the competition has ever seen, she is the only player in WBBL history to tally 400 runs in every season. She also became the first ever player to reach the 4,000-run milestone.

An elegant batter, she combines timing and skill, with power and elite game sense.

The 30-year-old finished WBBL|08 as the tournament’s highest run-scorer with 434 and was selected in the team of the tournament.

Her combination with Devine was crucial to the Scorchers winning their maiden title in WBBL|07, with the pair amassing an astonishing 876 runs between them.

Currently sitting second on the Scorchers all-time leading run scorers list, Mooney will be hoping her contributions at the top of the order will lead to further team success in WBBL|09.

Lilly Mills

Mills joined Perth ahead of the 2021-22 Weber Women’s Big Bash League season after two seasons with Brisbane Heat and has proven to be a consistent performer.  

The young off-spinner snared 15 wickets at 17.27 during WBBL|08, building on a fruitful partnership with superstar leg-spinner Alana King. 

She was also economical and tactically astute, varying pace and length with composure that defied her age and experience. 

Her ability to take wickets whilst restricting runs during the middle overs will be key to the Scorchers success in WBBL|09.

One to Watch

Maddy Darke

The talented wicketkeeper batter will be hoping to become a regular for the Scorchers this season, after signing a two-year deal ahead of WBBL|09.

Darke is one of the country’s brightest young prospects, with the young star producing a career-best season for WA in last year’s Women’s National Cricket League.

She finished with 475 runs including four half-centuries and a century, at an average of 52.78 from her 10 innings.

Despite not having made her debut for Perth, Darke is expected to play a key role in the top order as the Scorchers look to improve on last season’s fifth-placed finish.

Perth Scorchers squad for WBBL|09
Chloe Ainsworth
Charis Bekker
Stella Campbell
Piepa Cleary
Maddy Darke
Sophie Devine (Captain; International – New Zealand)
Amy Edgar
Lisa Griffith
Amy Jones (International – England)
Alana King
Lilly Mills
Beth Mooney
Taneale Peschel
Chloe Piparo

The Scorchers begin their WBBL|09 season with a two-match road trip against Hobart Hurricanes (October 20, UTAS Stadium) and Brisbane Heat (October 22, North Sydney Oval), before returning home to host the Hurricanes on 25 October at the WACA Ground.

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