The Perth Scorchers have reached the semi-finals the last two seasons, and last year they made two big acquisitions to take them the next step.
New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and Aussie opener Beth Mooney have joined the squad for WBBL07.
But English players Amy Jones and Sarah Glenn are unavailable for Perth this season. Jemma Barsby has joined the Adelaide Strikers and Nicole Bolton has joined the Sydney Sixers. Other changes to the Scorchers squad are Emma King (retired), Megan Banting and Georgia Wyllie.
The Scorchers have done well to fill the shoes of Jones and Glenn. South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp has been recruited from the Sydney Sixers. Kapp has taken the third most wickets in WBBL history, with 90 wickets, and has also scored 829 runs.
Sri Lankan batter Chamari Athapaththu has been also added to the squad. Athapaththu has scored 1646 runs in 85 T20s and 2625 runs in 84 ODIs, and she has also taken more than 20 wickets in each form of the game. Athapaththu has previously played 16 games for the Renegades, scoring 196 runs.
Another good piece of recruiting by Perth is leg spinner Alana King. With 54 wickets, King is the all-time leading wicket-taker for the Melbourne Stars. King can also get onto the ball with the bat, so don’t be surprised to see her pushed up the batting order at times.
Perth have also signed former Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers fast-medium bowler Lisa Griffith, who has played almost 40 WBBL matches. Griffith has also captained the NSW Breakers in the WNCL.
Australian opener Beth Mooney has scored the most runs in WBBL history, with 3127 runs. Mooney scored most of those runs with the Brisbane Heat. In her first season with the Scorchers she scored 551 runs. Mooney was the only player to score over 500 runs in WBBL06. She’s also a wicketkeeper.
New Zealander Sophie Devine is the third leading run-scorer in WBBL history, with 2634 runs. In her first season at the Scorchers she scored 460 runs, the third most for WBBL06. Devine has also taken 66 WBBL wickets.
Heather Graham (no relation to the actress) has been an integral part of the Scorchers with both bat and ball. Graham has taken 84 wickets (sixth in WBBL history) and scored 829 runs, with a highest score of 44 not out.
Chloe Piparo will bring plenty of experience to the batting line-up, having played 74 WBBL matches and scoring 395 runs with a highest score of 33 not out. Right-arm medium bowler Taneale Peschel has taken 32 wickets in 42 WBBL matches with a best bowling of 2-5.
Piepa Cleary has taken 35 wickets with her right-arm fast-medium bowling with a best bowling of 3-16 and an economy rate of 6.7. Cleary’s WBBL05 was cut short with a broken leg, which was suffered while fielding on the boundary.
Seam bowler Samantha Betts has taken 20 wickets in 29 WBBL matches. Former Hockeyroo Mathilda Carmichael has scored 130 runs in 18 WBBL matches.
The Scorchers have signed promising off spinner Lilly Mills, who hails from the Sunshine Coast. Mills has previously been with the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL and with the Queensland Fire in the WNCL.
Amy Edgar and Ash Day have also been added to the squad. Edgar plays for Melville in the local competition. She had a good finish to WA’s last WNCL season scoring 49 against SA and 47 against Victoria. Day also plays for Western Australia in the WNCL having previously played for Tasmania and the Hobart Hurricanes.
With Devine and Mooney leading with the bat as well as the addition of Athapaththu and support from Piparo, Kapp and Graham the Scorchers should make plenty of runs. Kapp, Graham, Devine and King will lead a potent bowling attack. Other teams will find it very difficult to defeat the Scorchers this season.
Predicted finish: first.