England batter Bess Heath on Friday joined the Melbourne Stars squad in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) as an international replacement player for India batter Jemimah Rodrigues, who will miss the opening weekend of matches, due to her participation in the ongoing Women’s Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Jemimah is currently sitting on top of the run-getters list with 215 runs in seven matches of the Women’s Asia Cup at an average of 71.66 and strike-rate of 137.82. With 2022 being a stellar year for her in the shortest format of the game, Jemimah is turning out to be a force to reckon with in T20s.
She will also become the first Indian player to play for Stars in the WBBL. Jemimah had represented Stars’ cross-town rivals Melbourne Renegades in the last season of WBBL, making 333 runs at a strike rate of over 116.
Apart from Jemimah, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur and fast-bowling all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar will be turning out for Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat respectively in the eighth season of WBBL.
With Harmanpreet also set to miss the first two matches for Renegades due to the Women’s Asia Cup, the club on Thursday had roped in England batter Eve Jones as an overseas replacement. Brisbane Heat had earlier signed New Zealand fast bowling all-rounder Jess Kerr as an overseas cover for both Pooja and England batter Danni Wyatt in the opening week of WBBL.
Stars also said that Una Raymond-Hoey has also joined the squad as a local replacement player, as Australia skipper and batting stalwart Meg Lanning continues her extended leave from the game. The club kickstart their WBBL season with matches against Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers on Saturday and Sunday respectively at the Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay.