Women’s Big Bash League is now less than a week away, with some of the biggest names in the women’s game fighting to get their hands on the prestigious WBBL trophy. The sixth season of WBBL will be played across five stadiums in Sydney, with the players residing at a WBBL village set up at the Sydney Olympic Park.
All the squads have been finalized, and it was recently announced that 5 New Zealand players would provide back-up to their respective teams, in case of any injury.
The back-up players are Katie Perkins of Adelaide Strikers, Lauren Down of Melbourne Renegades, Holly Huddlestone for Brisbane Heat and Rosemary Mair for the Scorchers. They are in addition to Hayley Jensen, who was recently announced as a potential back-up for Hobart Hurricanes. This was made possible due to New Zealand’s recent tour of Australia, and having already observed quarantine procedures earlier, the girls wouldn’t need to do go through it again.
Along with this news, guidelines for the eligibility of a back-up player was also released. It states that a back-up player can only be included in the playing squad if a fellow overseas player or a marquee Australian international gets injured. These back-up players cannot be used as a replacement for uncapped Australian talent.
Rosemary Mair expressed excitement at the unexpected opportunity, in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. She said, “We get into Sydney on Monday, and I can’t wait to catch up with the Perth Scorchers. It’s a great opportunity to learn more from the Scorchers set-up and how they go about their cricket. I’ll be looking to glean as much knowledge as I can from the staff and players.”
This move was sparked by injury concerns across various teams, especially Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers. Renegades are unsure of star pacer, Lea Tahuhu’s presence due to a recent injury, and Strikers marquee signing, Suzie Bates is doubtful after a shoulder injury. The 23 overseas players in the main squads recently made the trip to Sydney, after spending two weeks in quarantine at an Adelaide hotel.
The five backups will be an addition to the five Kiwis in the main squads. These include the biggest names in the White Ferns set up, including the captain, Sophie Devine, former captain, Amy Satterthwaite, and the trio of Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, and Rachael Priest.