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Wolvaardt, 18, joined Brisbane this week after the WBBL Technical Committee approved her as the replacement for Harris, who continues to recover from a knee operation.
A graceful right-handed batter, Wolvaardt made her international debut for South Africa at 16 while still at high school.
She was one of South Africa’s best performers in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup earlier this year, scoring 324 runs at an average of 64.8 at the top of the order, including half centuries against England and Australia.
She is South Africa’s youngest international century-maker, after scoring a match-winning 105 against Ireland Women in 2016 as a 17-year-old to wrap up a 67-run victory.
Heat coach Peter McGiffin said the club had worked on a contingency plan to cover Harris’ recovery and were thrilled when Wolvaardt became available.
“Laura is a class act with the bat and certainly caught the eye during the World Cup this year so we jumped at the chance to secure her as an injury replacement for Grace,’’ he said.
“She’s going to be starting a medical degree early next year which is an obvious priority, but the timing for her and us was right for the start of the WBBL and we’re pleased she can be a part of the club,’’ McGiffin said.
Harris, who returned to the WBBL Heat this season after playing for the Renegades last summer, is making steady progress after surgery last month
“We’re being conservative with Grace and so far, things are progressing pretty well. We’ll continue to review her and work towards a comeback later in the series,’’ McGiffin said.
Wolvaardt joins West Indian international allrounder Deandra Dottin as the team’s overseas contingent for the start of the tournament, with Brisbane’s opening match on Sunday against last season's runners-up the Perth Scorchers.
The Heat will name their squad tomorrow for the match at North Sydney Oval, which will be broadcast live on Network Ten from 9.45am AEST on Sunday.
The blockbuster opening weekend for the Rebel WBBL|03 will launch the Big Bash summer, following the resounding success of the second season of the WBBL.
The carnival-style weekend across Saturday and Sunday will feature four matches in Sydney, broadcast live on Network Ten’s main channel, as well as two matches in Adelaide that will be livestreamed.
Across the season, 12 matches of the WBBL will be broadcast on Network Ten, with all remaining matches livestreamed on the CA Live platform.
The Heat will play their first home match on Friday 15 December at Allan Border Field.
WBBL|03 Brisbane Heart Squad: Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Tess Cooper, Deandra Dottin (International), Holly Ferling ,Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Courtney Hill, Sammy Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Georgia Prestwidge, Kirby Short, Kara Sutherland. ICC Rookie: Rumana Ahmed.