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    Knight ready to lead the English charge Down Under this winter

    England Women's Captain Heather Knight is ready to lead the English charge Down Under this winter as nine England players head to Australia to play in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

    England women’s captain, Heather Knight, will swap the Three Lions for the distinctive purple playing kit of Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday when she leads the ‘Canes in their opening match of the second edition of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL|02).

    Taking on Perth Scorchers, Knight will play against a couple of familiar faces, with England team-mates Katherine Brunt and Rebecca Grundy having signed for the Western Australia based side. Grundy has been contracted for the first four matches only, and will be replaced by England women’s vice-captain and opening bowler, Anya Shrubsole before Christmas.

    Also in WBBL|02 action this weekend will be the in-form duo of Natalie Sciver and Danielle Hazell for Melbourne Stars, as they line up against last year’s winners, Sydney Thunder. Sciver and Hazell starred in England women’s fourth and final win against Sri Lanka in Colombo last month, and will head into the opening carnival weekend of the competition involving all eight WBBL teams in Sydney full of confidence. 

    Following a strong return of 14 wickets and 249 runs in the inaugural edition of the WBBL last year, Danni Wyatt has returned to Melbourne Renegades this winter. The Renegades will take on an Adelaide Strikers team tomorrow which includes former England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards and England women’s opening batsman, Tammy Beaumont, who will be making her first appearance in the WBBL.  

    Speaking ahead of the opening round of the WBBL|02 England and Hobart Hurricanes women’s captain, Heather Knight, said: “I’m really excited about the start of the second WBBL tomorrow. If the standard and delivery of the first WBBL competition last winter is anything to go by, there’s a lot to look forward to over the next few months.

    “It’s brilliant that opportunities to play in flagship domestic Twenty20 competitions like the WBBL and Kia Super League in England now exist. Undoubtedly they will contribute to the ongoing development of women’s cricket on and off the field around the world. As professional players the standard of women’s cricket will continue to excel as we are challenged more frequently at the highest level, and I’m sure that both the WBBL and KSL will inspire more fans and ultimately encourage more women and girls to play the game we all love.”    

    Alongside the nine current or former England women’s players who will feature in WBBL|02 this winter, England women’s right-arm seamer Beth Langston and middle-order batsman Fran Wilson, are already in action in the New Zealand women’s Twenty20 and One-Day competitions, playing for Otago Sparks and Wellington Blaze respectively.

    England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Robinson, added: “We have had a really busy and successful 12 months as an England women’s team, and it is great that so many of our players now have the chance to build on the hard work that they have put in through playing overseas this winter.

    “For a young player like Beth Langston, who is just making her first steps into international cricket, the opportunity to play in a new environment, with new team-mates, and in different conditions, will be invaluable to her development.

    “Like the Kia Super League, the WBBL bridges the gap between domestic and international cricket, and will present a challenge to all of our players to standout and be match winners for their respective teams.”

    Mark Robinson

    “Like the Kia Super League, the WBBL bridges the gap between domestic and international cricket, and will present a challenge to all of our players to standout and be match winners for their respective teams.” 

    Full list of current and former England women’s players to feature in Rebel WBBL|02:

     

    Name Team
    Tammy Beaumont Adelaide Strikers
    Katherine Brunt  Perth Scorchers
    Charlotte Edwards  Adelaide Strikers
    Rebecca Grundy

    Perth Scorchers*

    Danielle Hazell  Melbourne Stars
    Heather Knight Hobart Hurricanes
    Natalie Sciver Melbourne Stars
    Anya Shrubsole Perth Scorchers*
    Danielle Wyatt   Melbourne Renegades


    *Rebecca Grundy has been contracted by the Perth Scorchers for the first four fixtures only. After this time she will be replaced by Anya Shrubsole. 

    England women’s players to feature in New Zealand women’s Twenty20 and One-Day competitions

    Beth Langston – Otago Sparks

    Fran Wilson – Canterbury Magicians

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