Champs Gear Up For WBBL|05 | Brisbane Heat - BBL
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Champs Gear Up For WBBL|05

12 June 2019

The WBBL championship Brisbane Heat has appointed Ashley Noffke as its coach and re-signed dashing allrounder Grace Harris as it prepares for the inaugural stand-alone rebel Women’s Big Bash League starting in October.

Noffke, an assistant coach of the world champion Australian Women’s team last year, takes over from Peter McGiffin who stood down at the end of the season after guiding the Heat to their inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League title.

Noffke, 41, will also take on the role as Konica Minolta Queensland Fire coach for next season Women’s National Cricket League season.

The Sunshine Coast product played 71 Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland, taking 252 wickets and scoring two centuries, as well as representing Australia at One Day and T20 International level.

He has previously worked with the Queensland Bulls as part of their support staff under coaches Darren Lehmann and Phil Jaques and was bowling coach when the Brisbane Heat won the KFC Big Bash League title in BBL|02.

Brisbane Heat General Manager Andrew McShea congratulated Noffke on his appointment.

“Ash has had a number of important assistant roles within Australian cricket in recent times and we are very pleased that he will move into the head coaching role with the WBBL Brisbane Heat and the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire,’’ he said.

“The Heat winning the WBBL Final and the Fire finishing as runners-up in the WNCL demonstrates the developing strength of Queensland’s player pathways for talented female players.”

WATCH: Sydney Sixers v Brisbane Heat Match Highlights


“We know that the WBBL is inspiring women and girls throughout the country. Six out of every 10 children taking up the game are girls and females make up 30% of all cricket participants nationally,’’ he said.

Noffke said he was excited about the future with the Heat and the Fire.

“I don’t think anyone who watched the semi-finals and finals of the WBBL would disagree that it was some of the best cricket you could imagine,’’ he said.

“Having had the opportunity to work with the Australian women’s team, I know how dedicated the players are at being a success on the field and also leaders off it.”

“I’m enthusiastic about starting with the squad and working towards another successful summer,’’ he said.

Assistant coach Scott Prestwidge will continue in his role with both the Heat and the Fire.

WATCH: The Prestwidge Family

 

McShea said the club was in the throes of finalizing its WBBL playing roster for the coming stand-alone season that commences in October and continues through until December.

He confirmed the club had re-signed Harris, who joins the Australian trio of Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen and Delissa Kimmince in teal for WBBL|05.

Harris hit the WBBL’s fastest ever century and the second fastest of all time during the Heat’s run to their inaugural title last season.

WATCH: Grace Harris century highlights

 

She smashed 100 off just 42 balls against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba, her second career WBBL century.

Her strike-rate last summer of 150.40 was one of the best in the WBBL, while she also took 13 wickets at an average of 19.07, with an economy rate of 5.90.

She claimed a vital 3-23 to restrict the Sydney Sixers in the thrilling Final at Drummoyne Oval before injuring her knee in the run chase that was courageously led by player of the match Mooney.

The WBBL season will commence under lights at North Sydney Oval on October 18 and end with the Grand Final on Sunday December 8.

There will be 23 matches broadcast on Seven, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports, with the remaining available on cricket.com.au.

Each team will play 14 matches, with the top four playing off in semi-finals before the grand final which will be hosted by the top ranked team.