Hard-hitting middle order bat Laura Harris returns for her second season with the Heat, with the older sister of allrounder Grace in strong form this past month.
A free-scoring 62 from 40 overs for the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire in their big win over South Australia in the Women’s National Cricket League was followed by an eye-catching knock yesterday for the Heat development squad.
Laura Harris hit 32 from 11 balls as the Heat (6-155) defeated the Sydney Sixers development squad 7-125, while Grace continued her red-hot recent form to pick up a hat-trick.
Rising all-round stars Courtney Sippel and Charli Knott were also signed by the Heat, capping a big montj for 15-year-old Mackay product Knott who made her debut for the Fire earlier in the month.
Sippel, 17, celebrated her final days at high school on the Sunshine Coast last week and is also playing for the Heat development squad in Sydney this week.
The pace-bowling allrounder joins fellow Murgon product Renee Irvine as having been signed by the Heat.
At 15 years and 11 months, Valley allrounder Knott will be the second youngest player to debut for the Heat, with pace bowler Irvine having achieved that honour in WBBL|02.
Knott, a student at Brisbane State High School, played her junior cricket in Mackay with Magpies, Brothers and the Mackay Hurricanes girls team before her family moved to Brisbane.
Heat coach Pete McGiffin said the club was pleased to have such exciting home-grown talents to choose from.
“Courtney has been knocking on the door for a while now to take the next step, so this is a great opportunity for her to demonstrate her skills now,’’ he said.
“We’re delighted that Charli and Courtney have enjoyed the chance to play juniors and rep cricket within the Queensland female pathways where they have worked hard and made the most of the chances that have come their way.
“It’s an important investment in the Heat’s future and also for Queensland Cricket to have the girls part of this squad. I’m sure the experience of playing and training alongside the likes of Beth Mooney, Delissa Kimmince and Jess Jonassen will benefit them no end.’’
McGiffin said Laura Harris had built her form after a solid winter of preparation.
“She’s taken on some roles for us in our batting that have worked well and it’s good to have her skills to call on for WBBL|04,’’ he said.
The WBBL gets underway with the opening carnival at Melbourne’s CitiPower centre at Junction Oval next weekend.
Brisbane’s three Australian players Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince and Beth Mooney will link with the team in Melbourne in the wake of the team winning through today to the Final of the ICC Women’s World T20 Cup in the West Indies.
The remainder of the WBBL Heat squad will train next week, with sessions booked for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at Allan Border Field.
The Heat play the Adelaide Strikers on Sunday 2 December in their opening match at Junction Oval before travelling to Sydney the following weekend for matches against the Perth Scorchers (Sat 8 Dec) and the Sydney Thunder (Sun 9 Dec).
Their first home match will be the double-header at the Gabba on 19 December that coincides with the opening match of the KFC Big Bash League between the Heat and the Adelaide Strikers.
That game starts at 1.45pm.
2018-19 WBBL|04 Brisbane Heat Squad:
15. Jemma Barsby
23. Haidee Birkett
3. Josie Dooley
17. Grace Harris
4. Laura Harris
58. Sammy-Jo Johnson
21. Jess Jonassen
8. Charli Knott
11. Delissa Kimmince
96. Sune Luus (Int)
6. Beth Mooney
16. Georgia Prestwidge
10. Kirby Short
37. Courtney Sippel
14 Laura Wolvaardt.