The excitement for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) seventh edition is building up as teams are closer to finalizing their squad with the league scheduled to start from 14th October.
The teams have seen several changes to the squads majorly because of the COVID restrictions in place and some due to personal reasons. There is a sudden rise of COVID-19 cases in Australia which has caused fear of border closure and strict restrictions in place. In fact, this isn’t just in Australia but in several other countries as well.
Dane van Niekerk in blue, you better believe it!
— Weber Women’s Big Bash League (@WBBL) September 30, 2021
This has caused a major blow for Adelaide Strikers who lose their captain New Zealand’s Suzie Bates for this season. Bates has been in England since the end of last month for three T20Is and five 5 ODIs. The host, England got better over the white swans in both the formats, taking the T20Is by 2-1 and ODIs by 4-1.
Though the series is over, and the players can travel to Australia for WBBL, but the all-rounder decided to step back as she has a seat booked for hotel quarantine in her country New Zealand and looking at the number of Kiwis stranded in other countries, waiting to return back, there could be a possibility that she also gets stuck in Australia post the WBBL.
In a report by Cricket.com.au, Bates said, “At the time I had to make the decision, I had a spot booked by New Zealand Cricket to get me back into NZ and if I gave it up to fly straight to Australia, there was a high chance of being stranded in Australia post the Big Bash. This was not a risk I was willing to take with what the White Ferns have coming up this summer, including a home World Cup. I love this club; I love playing for the Strikers so it was not an easy decision, but I look forward to following and supporting the team as best I can.”
Her spot in the team has been replaced by South Africa’s captain Dane van Niekerk who also led Oval Invincibles to be The Hundred’s inaugural titleholder in the Women’s category. She finished at the top of the batting table with 259 runs in the 9 innings she played and also got 8 wickets to her name making herself the most favorites for the Player of the Tournament award. In WBBL, she was earlier a part of the Sydney Sixers before parting ways at the end of the sixth edition of the league.
According to the same report, commenting on Niekerk, Strikers’ coach Luke Williams said, “It is no coincidence that Dane has played in winning teams, she leads by example and always performs on the biggest stages. Dane comes to Australia in the incredible form off the back of The Hundred and South Africa’s tour of the West Indies and we can’t wait to see her take the field as a Striker.”
Squad for Adelaide Strikers (Till Now):
Darcie Brown*, Sarah Coyte, Tahlia McGrath*, Tegan McPharlin, Katie Mack, Bridget Patterson, Maddie Penna, Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), Amanda-Jade Wellington, Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)
*Australian Contracted Players
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