South Africa quick Shabnim Ismail and Ireland star Kim Garth have closed out the list of overseas signings for the 2019 Women’s Big Bash League, which gets underway as a standalone event on October 18.
One of the fastest bowlers in women’s cricket, South Africa’s Ismail has signed up with Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season, having previously represented Melbourne Renegades in the opening edition of the tournament in 2015-16. She will join New Zealand’s Rachel Priest and Pakistan’s Nida Dar as the overseas trio in the squad.
Irish seam-bowling all-rounder Garth has joined with Perth Scorchers, where she will play alongside other overseas pros in Natalie Sciver and Amy Jones, both England players, as well as Australian stars Meg Lanning and Nicole Bolton.
— Rebel Women's Big Bash League (@WBBL) October 10, 2019
Ismail, 31 and the No.2 ranked Women’s T20I bowler, said part of her goal was to guide the youngsters in the Sydney team. “I’m really excited to join the Thunder and obviously make a difference,” she was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“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.”
The 23-year-old Garth, who previously played for Sydney Sixers in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 editions, was pleasantly surprised to get another stint in what he calls the “best female domestic competition in the world”.
“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,” Garth said.
— Perth Scorchers (@ScorchersBBL) October 11, 2019
“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.”
Each team can have a maximum of five marquee players, a tag reserved for star Australian players and all overseas players. There is also a limit of three overseas players per side, but with an exemption made for replacements necessitated by national commitments of overseas signings.
The signings of Ismail and Garth filled up each team’s marquee player capacity, one week ahead of the tournament, which will be held as a standalone event – separate from the men’s edition – for the first time.
All overseas signings:
Adelaide Strikers: Suzie Bates (NZ), Sophie Devine (NZ), Stafanie Taylor (WI), Lauren Winfield (Eng, replacement)
Brisbane Heat: Maddy Green (NZ), Amelia Kerr (NZ)
Hobart Hurricanes: Heather Knight (Eng), Fran Wilson (Eng), Chloe Tryon (SA), Hayley Matthews (WI)
Melbourne Renegades: Tammy Beaumont (Eng), Danni Wyatt (Eng), Lea Tahuhu (NZ)
Melbourne Stars: Mignon du Preez (SA), Lizelle Lee (SA), Katey Martin (NZ)
Perth Scorchers: Amy Jones (Eng), Natalie Sciver (Eng), Kim Garth (Ireland)
Sydney Sixers: Marizanne Kapp (SA), Dane van Niekerk (SA)
Sydney Thunder: Nida Dar (Pak), Shabnim Ismail (SA), Rachael Priest (NZ)