Pace bowling allrounder Courtney Sippel has re-signed until the end of WBBL|08 while 18-year-old Ipswich top order batter Ellie Johnston has signed her first WBBL deal after making her Women’s National Cricket league debut last year for the Queensland Fire.
Sippel has been in strong touch for the Gold Coast in the opening rounds of the Katherine Raymont Shield one-day and T20 competitions in the KFC Queensland Premier Cricket competition, continuing her continuing development as a allrounder.
The 20-year-old played seven games for the Heat in last year’s WBBL competition that was staged in Sydney and followed that with eight WNCL games including playing in the Final that was won by Queensland for the first time.
Sippel claimed 3-44 in the decider against Victoria.
Johnston, who was raised in Dalby and played cricket in Toowoomba, made her WNCL debut for Queensland last season, playing six games for the Fire including the Final.
A dominant performer for Ipswich Hornets in the Katherine Raymont Shield where she scored 856 runs, her signing completes a big week for the extended Johnston family, with cousin and Queensland teammate Ruth joining the Hobart Hurricanes for WBBL|07.
Heat coach Ashley Noffke said the addition of two more exciting prospects to the squad had an eye to the future as well as the upcoming WBBL series.
“We have been really pleased with how ‘Sip’ has grown as a player in the past year, and she showed with her bowling performances late in the season that she has a lot to offer us,’’ he said.
“She has made a really bright start to Premier Cricket after switching to the Gold Coast and taking on more responsibility on the field, so we are delighted to secure her signature for the next few seasons.”
“Ellie had a taste of things with the Fire last season, where she was able to experience the WNCL Final, so this is a good progression for her. She’s a talented bat who can hit cleanly, and she is also developing her skills as a 'keeper as well.”
The Heat have three more spots to fill on their roster ahead of the opening rounds of the WBBL which gets underway in Tasmania from 14 October.
The WBBL Heat has announced the following signings for WBBL|07: Jess Jonassen (c), Anneke Bosch (int), Nadine de Klerk (Int), Grace Harris, Ellie Johnston, Laura Kimmince, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll.
The Heat will join all WBBL teams in Tasmania for the start of the competition, with matches to be played in Hobart and Launceston.
Brisbane will play seven games in Tasmania, with two games in Hobart and five in Launceston. It is expected the competition will then continue as scheduled once the opening block of games in Tasmania is completed.
The Heat will open their season with two games against the Perth Scorchers at Blundstone Arena on October 17 and 19 before taking on the Melbourne Stars (Oct 23), Adelaide Strikers (Oct 24), Hobart Hurricanes (Oct 26 and Oct 30) and the Stars (Oct 31) in Launceston.