The Heat tonight announced the club had re-signed rising pace bowler Georgia Prestwidge, batter Mikayla Hinkley, allrounder Courtney Sippel and off-spinner Lilly Mills for WBBL|06.
Each of the quartet was part of the Heat’s successful title defence last season, with teenagers Sippel and Mills making their debuts for Brisbane.
Prestwidge had a breakout season for the Heat, with the 22-year-old right-arm quick taking 11 wickets as well as being a fielding threat with her powerful arm and speed in the outfield.
Hinkley, who had previously turned out in the WBBL with the Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes, played 15 matches for the Heat in their championship campaign in her first season with the club.
The 22-year-old from Penrith traces her Indigenous heritage to the Kunja people in western Queensland, with their traditional lands centered around Cunnamulla and Charleville.
Allrounder Sippel, who grew up with her two younger brothers on a dairy farm in the South Burnett before relocating to the Sunshine Coast for schooling, made her WBBL debut last season after being a squad player for the past two seasons.
Sunshine Coast product Lilly Mills, 19, made her WBBL debut as well last season in her inaugural year with the club.
WBBL Heat coach Ashley Noffke said the club was delighted with the progress each player had made last season, as well as their potential to improve further.
“Each of the players was able to build on specific things in their own games but also to enjoy the chance to be a part of the action in a championship team,’’ he said.
“Georgia showed a lot of people that she is a real threat with the ball, whether that’s bowling or in the field, and she was a very solid contributor to the team’s unity away from the field. She’ll have an important role again in the team.”
“Mikayla is a class bat and she is only going to get better with more opportunities.
“We saw what she was capable of with the Queensland Fire late in the season when she produced a very composed 52 not out in a partnership with Grace Harris to get us a bonus point win over Victoria in a pressure situation.
“We’ve got some specific roles in mind for Courtney and Lilly in the future and their potential is very exciting.”
The Heat have now secured internationals Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green along with Grace and Laura Harris and the four players announced tonight.
The WBBL will feature a record number of broadcast matches on Channel 7 and Foxtel, with 23 regular season matches and three finals to be shown.
The remaining 33 games will be streamed live on the CA Live app, cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.