PERTH Scorchers last week confirmed the re-signing of seven players and added Hockeyroo and Meville City Hockey Club standout Mathilda Carmichael for the second iteration of the Women’s Big Bash League.
WA-raised Shooting Stars Megan Banting, Piepa Cleary, Heather Graham and Chloe Piparo have all re-signed along with local pair Emma Biss and Emma King and last season’s WACA Female Rising Star winner Katie Hartshorn.
The addition of the eight players takes the Scorchers squad to 11, joining Suzie Bates, Nicole Bolton and new recruit Lauren Ebsary.
Carmichael (22) is the sole new recruit, joining the Scorchers having missed out on selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics with the Hockeyroos.
She previously represented New South Wales in cricket at under-age level and impressed last season in the WA Female A Grade 50-over competition with Melville.
Carmichael, a right-handed batswoman and right-arm medium bowler, was the third top scorer in the competition with 337 runs at an average of 56.17 with an outstanding strike rate of 133.2, while she also took seven wickets in six games.
Scorchers coach Lisa Keightley said she was an exciting addition to the squad.
“Mathilda showcased her all-round potential last summer after she decided to focus on cricket,” Keightley said.
“She had a strike rate of more than 130 in 50-over cricket which we hope will translate well into the T20 format and on to the next level in the Women’s Big Bash League.”
Keightley was also rapt to secure several local promising players for another season, with the Shooting Stars quartet all 21 or younger.
“It’s fantastic to keep together our group of up-and-coming local players who are beginning to get opportunities at representative level and helped us make the WBBL semi-finals last season,” Keightley said.
“Megan Banting is a player on the rise. She captained the Shooting Stars recently in the Sri Lanka and has a big season ahead as wicketkeeper following Jenny Wallace’s retirement.
“Heather Graham emerged as an all-rounder during an exceptional 2015-16 season, taking 11 WBBL wickets and we hope she’ll continue that improvement.
“We’re looking for Piepa Cleary to complement our bowling attack in and we see Chloe Piparo as a key batswoman moving ahead.
“We’re hoping Emma Biss and Emma King, as two of our more experienced young players, can step up as leaders this season following the retirements of Wallace and Nicky Shaw.
“Katie Hartshorn was a revelation last season with 13 wickets and we’re hoping she will only get better with more experience at the elite level.”
The Scorchers begin their Big Bash campaign against Hobart Hurricanes in Sydney on 10 December.
Four spots remain vacant on the Scorchers roster for the WBBL 2 campaign.