Former Australian wicket-keeper and 2019 Queensland Cricket Hall of Fame inclusion Julia Price will join the Heat’s coaching staff for BBL|09, where she will work alongside head coach Darren Lehmann and assistant coach James Hopes as well as bowling coach Ryan Harris and coaching assistant Gavin Fitness.
Price, who played 107 games for Queensland between 1993-94 and 2006-07 and a further 38 for Tasmania, will officially link with the Heat at the January 1 night clash with Perth Scorchers at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Price played 10 Tests and 84 One-Day Internationals for Australia and was part of the 1997 and 2005 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup triumphs.
She is currently the USA Women’s coach after previously coaching Tasmania and the WBBL Hobart Hurricanes for the first three WBBL seasons where they made the semi-finals on two occasions.
Lehmann said the opportunity to integrate Price into the Heat’s off-field team had been too good to miss.
“We’d been chatting about whether there were some professional development opportunities for her through her USA role and we just went from there,’’ he said.
“She has an excellent cricket brain and plenty of experience as a head coach, so I can see her fitting quite neatly into our set-up.
"We knew we had Ryan Harris with us for the start of the BBL before he goes to the U19 World Cup, but there was still a position available for us to fill on the coaching staff and we thought this was a great chance to innovate and think outside the box."
"As a coach you really appreciate the opportunity to bounce ideas of other people and tap into their experiences so the likes of ‘Pricey’, Ryan and Gav Fitness will have lots of insights to share,’’ Lehmann said.
“I’m pleased the Heat have been able to go in a direction that we haven’t seen yet in the BBL in having a woman on the coaching staff, but I don’t believe it will be the last time it happens either. Hopefully this works well for ‘Pricey’ and assists her with her role with USA Cricket in the future.”
Price is no stranger to breaking down barriers, regularly playing men’s lower grade cricket for Wynnum-Manly during her playing days in Brisbane with the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire.
Price, who was at Allan Border Field as part of her commentary duties with Channel 7 in the rebel Women’s Big Bash League Final today, said working in international cricket with the USA had provided her with the incentive to push the boundaries of her coaching career.
“I’m very excited at this opportunity provided to me by the Heat,’’ she said.
“The role gives me great exposure to different coaches and players and gets me out of my comfort zone to ensure I keep developing as a coach, particularly now with my work with USA Cricket.”
“There are plenty of ways to approach the game and from my different ‘experiences’, I’m hoping to be able to challenge the group to continue to think from a different perspective.”
Tickets are selling quickly for the opening match of BBL|09 when the Heat host the Sydney Thunder at the Gabba next Thursday, 17 December.
Ticket prices for Heat home games have again been maintained at family-friendly level, with adults from $22, kids from $8 and a family from just $48 for two adults and two children.*
Tickets are on sale through Ticketek.com.au
Fans are urged to pre-purchase to ensure they don’t miss out on being part of the electric atmosphere at a Heat BBL game with fireworks, family entertainment and non-stop action.
The Heat has announced the following contracted players for BBL|09.