Sunshine Coast product Lilly Mills and Mackay product Charli Knott were today confirmed for the WBBL Heat for the season that gets underway next month.
The teenagers are both members of the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire squad and turned out yesterday for the Fire in their practice match win over NSW, with off-spinner Mills claiming a five-wicket haul.
Mills, 18, was unveiled today at a media opportunity at Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club, her junior cricket club where she learned to play as an 11-year-old.
“I got hooked on cricket when I watched the Ashes with my Dad,’’ she said.
“I was recovering from an accident where I lost two teeth and because it was painful at night sometimes, Dad would sit with me. I remember watching Jimmy Anderson bowling and the Aussies batting and thinking this was something I wanted to do.”
“Tewantin Noosa was just down the road from where I lived and I got started as soon as I could.”
Mills met today with members of the Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club’s women’s team which started last year at Read Park, Tewantin.
“The growth in girl’s and women’s cricket is so exciting to see and especially to see that there is a women’s team now at my old club. I started playing alongside the boys in junior cricket and but the girls now can play together and that is very encouraging,” she said.
Knott, 16, was a Heat signing last season and the batting allrounder has earned her second WBBL contract whilst still a student at Brisbane State High School.
WBBL Heat coach Ashley Noffke said he was thrilled to secure two of the brightest young players in the State.
“Lilly is a very promising spinner and adds something to our depth. Charli is developing nicely and we are very pleased she has agreed to terms again,” he said.
Today’s announcement marked the opening of second year of the Grassroots Cricket Fund supported by Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association, with new grant applications opening this week.
The Grassroots Cricket Fund was launched in February by Australian players, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association. In season 2018-19, more than $1.8M from Australia’s professional cricketers was invested into equipment grants and facilities, via the Grassroots Cricket Fund.
The Grassroots Cricket Fund provides small grants direct to community cricket clubs, as well as funding into the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund, which invests in clubs throughout the country to develop a wide range of infrastructure projects.
Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club received $50,000 investment from the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund in 2018-19, as seed funding for it’s $680,000 project to install new field lighting, establish turf/synthetic training nets, and extend the wicket block at Read Park. This project has also attracted significant funding from Federal and Queensland Governments, and support from Noosa Council.
Tickets are on sale now for WBBL Brisbane Heat home games at Allan Border Field with the Heat taking on the Perth Scorchers on 26 October, the Hobart Hurricanes on 27 October and Melbourne Renegades on 27 November.
WBBL Heat tickets at Allan Border Field will be $10 for adults, $5 for concession with children admitted with a free ticket available at the point of purchase.
Tickets are available through www.ticketek.com.au
The WBBL Heat will again play two matches at Great Barrier Reef Arena at Harrup Park in Mackay this season, following on from the success of the past two years where the WBBL games have attracted sell-out crowds.
Brisbane will take on the Adelaide Strikers on 2 and 3 November in Mackay, with both matches being free admission.
The WBBL season will commence under lights at North Sydney Oval on October 18 and end with the Grand Final on Sunday December 8.
WBBL|05 Brisbane Heat squad to date: Lilly Mills, Charli Knott, Haidee Birkett, Laura Harris, Georgia Prestwidge, Mikayla Hinkley, Courtney Sippel, Amelia Kerr (international), Sammy-Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney.