The Perth Scorchers have finalised their 15-player squad for the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League with three signings including two England international bowlers to open the attack.
The Scorchers have secured 24-year-old English fast bowler Anya Shrubsole and re-signed last season’s Scorchers Player of the Year Katherine Brunt.
Shrubsole is currently second on the ICC Player Rankings for Women’s T20 International bowlers and fifth on the all-time wicket-takers list in Women’s T20 Internationals despite her young age.
Wicketkeeper Emily Smith, 21, has also joined the Scorchers, after spending last season with the Hobart Hurricanes, rounding out the squad.
Scorchers coach Lisa Keightley was delighted to secure Brunt and Shrubsole who open the bowling for their country in the short format.
“I think they’re the best opening bowling combination in world cricket in this format,” Keightley said.
“Potentially that allows us to be quite aggressive up front and take early wickets. They’ve done that successfully for England.”
Shrubsole is experienced despite her age, with 88 appearances and 132 wickets across all three formats for England and was recently made her country’s vice-captain.
"I'm really delighted to have signed to play for Perth Scorchers in the WBBL this year,” Shrubsole said.
“I already have some very fond memories of playing at the WACA Ground during the Women's Ashes Test match in 2014, so I'm now very much looking forward to hopefully contributing to some more memorable moments at the ground with the Scorchers this season.
“The rate at which the women's game is developing right now is incredible, and it is fantastic that we are getting so many opportunities as players to compete in competitions like the WBBL and the Kia Super League all around the world."
Keightley added: “She’s young and exciting but also a world-class bowler who’ll add experience and composure in the death overs. We’re looking to take wickets up front and she’s got the pedigree to do that.”
Brunt led the Scorchers attack in WBBL|01, taking 16 wickets at 17.12 with an economy rate of 5.02 and is a popular player among the squad.
"I'm really looking forward to heading back to Perth in December to play in the second season of the WBBL,” Brunt said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed representing the club in the inaugural edition of the competition last year, and the city is quickly becoming a home away from home.
“I can't wait to catch up with the squad and pull on the Scorchers shirt once again to play with and against some of the best cricketers in the world."
Keightley added: “She’s another world-class seamer who can take wickets early. She’s aggressive and brings a competitiveness which rubs off on the other girls.”
The Scorchers coach was also happy to round out the squad with Smith, who’ll look to put pressure on Megan Banting to be the side’s first-choice wicketkeeper.
"Following Jenny Wallace’s retirement, we’ve looked to add depth to our wicketkeeping ranks and Emily has experience with Essex and in the WBBL, so we’re confident she’ll provide good competition for Megan,” Keightley said.
The Scorchers commence their WBBL|02 campaign against the Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday 10 December.
Perth Scorchers WBBL|02 squad: Megan Banting, Suzie Bates, Emma Biss, Nicole Bolton, Katherine Brunt, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Katie Hartshorn, Emma King, Chloe Piparo, Anya Shrubsole, Emily Smith, Elyse Villani