The Perth Scorchers have today announced import Suzie Bates as captain for the Club’s Rebel Women’s Big Bash League campaign, while also being bolstered by the support of Kleenheat as the team’s Principal Partner.
Bates to steer Scorchers
Bates, who also captains the New Zealand national side, returns to the Scorchers after a strong inaugural WBBL season, with the all-rounder having tallied 220 runs at an average of 44 and taking eight wickets in nine matches.
The 29-year-old has been handed the reins of a well-shaped Scorchers outfit, with the side having lured former Australia international and Strikers captain Lauren Ebsary to accompany the experience of current Shooting Stars Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani.
Perth also boasts an international opening attack, with pace bowlers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole on board and their experience complementing the vivacious youth of local players such as Megan Banting, Piepa Cleary, Chloe Piparo, Heather Graham and Emma King.
Bates said: “I am very excited to be a part of Perth for WBBL|02 and to be asked to captain the Scorchers is a huge honour.
“I am looking forward to returning to Perth for another season and working closely with Lisa (head coach Lisa Keightley), the support staff and the senior players to lead a team which has a nice mix of local talented players and world class international players.
“WBBL|01 was extremely competitive, so I know this season will be no different and I am looking forward to the challenges that come from such a high-intensity competition.
“I can't wait to get the team together and start our campaign and play some exciting cricket along the way.”
Scorchers head coach Lisa Keightley said: “After Nicole Bolton decided to step aside as captain to focus on her own game, Suzie was the obvious choice.
“She captains her country and has had success captaining in World Cups and big games, which will be extremely valuable for us this season.
“She also knows the games of the playing group really well and her experience and leadership will go a long way to improving the games of not only our young players, but our experienced squad members as well.”
Kleenheat fires up support for WBBL
The Scorchers also announced that energy supplier and retailer Kleenheat had signed on as the Club’s Principal Partner for the WBBL.
The two partners share strong values across diversity and inclusion, with the WBBL and Scorchers’ mission to ensure cricket is established and recognised as a sport for all Australians, aligning with Kleenheat’s commitment to growing leadership opportunities for women.
Recent census figures showed cricket’s pursuit of inclusion had led to the sport nearing gender parity among school-aged participants in WA for 2015-16, while female participation leapt 26.73 per cent to have 51,851 women and girls playing the game across the state.
Kleenheat’s diversity policy, designed to encourage women in leadership within its business, has assisted in resulting in a 50 per cent female representation within its Natural Gas and Electricity leadership team, while all its leadership programs and talent strategies aim for a strong female representation.
Additionally, Kleenheat is working towards building gender-balanced recruitment shortlists, while it currently offers flexible working arrangements and is trialling a pilot program designed to encourage men to partake in caring responsibilities.
Kleenheat General Manager Mark Gadsby said: “As WA’s local energy provider, we’re excited to power the Perth Scorchers’ second big season in the Women’s Big Bash League.
“Like the Scorchers, Kleenheat already has runs on the board and big ambitions for the future – including our commitment to drive gender equality in business and the community.
“We’re excited about energising women’s cricket in WA and helping inspire the next generation Scorchers.”
WACA CEO Ms Christina Matthews said: “Kleenheat has a strong focus on diversity and providing opportunities for people to reach their full potential, both within the organisation and through the various community programs the organisation supports.
“It is also committed to growing the number of women in leadership roles, something the WACA and Scorchers are equally committed to, both on and off the field.
“We aim to increase female participation and representation across all levels of cricket and pivotal to achieving that is the support of organisations such as Kleenheat.”