With the new season of Women’s Big Bash League knocking on the door, there seems to be a lot of hustle and bustle around the teams as they look to get their combinations right. Among all this shuffling, South African pacer Shabnim Ismail and Irish batter Kim Garth have made it to the headlines.
This season Women’s Big Bash League will be having its own independent window for the first time ever. Proteas pacer Shabnim Ismail, considered one of the fastest in the business, have signed up for Sydney Thunder while Irish top-order batter Kim Garth will be taking the field for Perth Scorchers. While Ismail was a part of Melbourne Renegades in the inaugural edition of the tournament, Garth has represented Perth Scorchers previously for two editions between 2016-2018.
The other big signings include that of South African all-rounder Chloe Tryon who will be making her WBBL debut with the Hobart Hurricanes. She will be joining the elite company of the English duo of Heather Knight and Fran Wilson. Ismail will be joining forces with Pakistan all-rounder Nina Dar, Aussie batter Rachael Haynes and Kiwi keeper batter Rachel Priest to form the powerhouse of the Thunders.
“I’m really excited to join the Thunder and obviously make a difference," ICC website quoted Ismail saying so. "I really want to make an impact with the girls, and obviously I want to win as well. For the youngsters, just to pass on my knowledge from the level that I’ve been playing at, which is the highest level."
On the other hand, Thunder had to part ways with Windies skipper Stafaine Taylor who changed courts to Adelaide Strikers. She will be joining the Kiwi duo of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine. English wicket-keeper Lauren Winfield will be replacing Taylor when she leaves midway on International duties. Thunder suffered another blow as Australian all-rounder Nicola Carey left to join the Hurricanes.
Garth will be joining the English duo of pacer Natalie Sciver and keeper Amy Jones to constitute the overseas brigade of the Scorchers. The Irish top-order batter expressed her excitement to share the field with competitive women of the sport.
"It came to me as a bit of a shock, I was playing in a World Cup qualifier at the time, and when I heard the Scorchers wanted to sign me, I was over the moon. The WBBL is the best female domestic competition in the world, and for the opportunity to play in this tournament alongside the likes of Meg Lanning and Nat Sciver is really exciting."
Among the other changes, defending champs Brisbane Heat roped in the Kiwi duo of Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green to replace the Proteas duo of Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt.
South Africans Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez rejoin the Stars, who will also be led by a new captain this season, with Elyse Villani taking over the reins from Kristen Beams. The 2019 edition of the WBBL will be underway from 18 October to 8 December.