WBBL Draft – Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers Secure Top Picks for Season 10

The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), introduced in 2015, marked the initiation of women’s franchise cricket in Australia. This T20 competition features eight city-based franchises, with player selection conducted via a draft system, now, since it’s previous edition.

WBBL Draft - Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers Secure Top Picks for Season 10
WBBL Draft – Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers Secure Top Picks for Season 10

Teams can recruit up to three overseas players through the draft, with a retention pick allowing them to secure a key player from the previous season. The draft order is determined by weighted lotteries, with the first two rounds proceeding sequentially from one to eight. The third-round acts in reverse order, granting the team with the eighth pick consecutive selections at picks 16 and 17, before reverting to the standard order for round four.

The WBBL draft lottery has produced some surprising outcomes, with three clubs overcoming significant odds. The Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers emerged as major beneficiaries, securing the first and second picks, respectively, despite low probabilities.

The Hurricanes will have the first opportunity to select top overseas talent for the WBBL’s 10th season, followed by the Sixers, with the Melbourne Renegades picking third, Melbourne Stars fourth, Sydney Thunder fifth, Adelaide Strikers sixth, Brisbane Heat seventh, and Perth Scorchers, who finished second in the WBBL season 9 home-and-away round but were knocked out by the Brisbane Heat in the Challenger, getting the eighth pick.

It’s a tough break for the two Melbourne clubs, which had a higher likelihood of securing the first pick due to their poor finishes last season. The Renegades had a 40 percent chance of getting the first pick, and the Stars had a 30 percent chance, but they were beaten by the Hurricanes, who had only a 20 percent chance with their sixth-place finish last season.

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Last season’s champions, the Adelaide Strikers, secured the sixth pick which was unlikely with a 16 percent chance. Picks 1-4 were drawn from teams that did not participate in the WBBL season 9 final, while the four finalists were in the running for picks 5-8.

The draft will follow a ‘snake’ format starting from the second round, with the third round conducted in reverse order, meaning the Scorchers will have the first pick in the Silver Draft.

Each club must draft a minimum of two players and can select up to four players, including any pre-signed overseas players. The WBBL season 10 draft is scheduled for September, with details to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Each club will also have access to a retention pick during the draft. Despite having the eighth pick, the Scorchers can retain their captain Sophie Devine if they cannot secure her with a direct signing before the draft.

Other star overseas players eligible for retention include India captain Harmanpreet Kaur (Melbourne Renegades), English all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt (Perth Scorchers), opening batter Tammy Beaumont (Melbourne Renegades), all-rounders Alice Capsey and Sophia Dunkley (Melbourne Stars), South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (Sydney Thunder), Proteas skipper Laura Wolvaardt (Adelaide Strikers), pacer Shabnim Ismail and wicketkeeper Lizelle Lee (Hobart Hurricanes), wicketkeeper-batter Mignon du Preez (Brisbane Heat), West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews (Melbourne Renegades), and Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (Sydney Thunder).

Under the league’s new multi-year direct signing rule for overseas players, clubs can now directly sign one overseas player for up to three years, bypassing the draft. The Sydney Sixers, on June 11, signed New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr from Brisbane Heat on a three-year deal, making her the first player to benefit from this new contracting mechanism.

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Starting from WBBL season 11, players signed to multi-year deals must be available for the entire season, including finals, to minimize the loss of international players to rival T20 leagues.

Direct signings must be paid within one of the existing draft salary bands (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) or at a negotiated rate above the Platinum band, which was approximately 93 Lakh INR last season.

Players are categorized into four salary levels by the clubs. Platinum players, designated by the Australian Cricket Board, include all overseas players. Players can choose to classify themselves into gold, silver, and bronze categories. Draft salary bands are as follows: Platinum at 110k Australian Dollars, Gold at 90k Australian Dollars, Silver at 65k Australian Dollars, and Bronze at up to 40k Australian Dollars.

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