The Heat have added three first-time recruits as well as welcome back two players from their foundation line-up.
Pace bowler Sammy Jo Johnson and bat Kirby Short return to the squad after being part of the WBBL|01, while the trio of newcomers sees allrounder Haidee Birkett, pace bowler Georgia Prestwidge and bat Tess Cooper don the teal for the first time.
The five signings were announced this morning at the WBBL Heat’s official season launch at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs Café ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the competition in Sydney.
The 20-year-old Cooper, originally from Emerald, is the grand-daughter of former Queensland Rugby League heavyweight Les Geeves and made her debut for the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire this season.
Birkett, originally from Charters Towers, missed the WBBL last season due to injury and has been a regular for the Fire this summer.
Prestwidge, the daughter of former Queensland allrounder Scott, also played for the Fire in the WNCL this season.
Heat coach Andy Richards said each of the five recruits brought valuable skills, experience and enthusiasm to the playing group.
“As well as being a talented bat, Kirby is an excellent leader on and off the field while Sammy Jo is a great example of someone who has worked very hard to develop her skills and get herself into this position,’’ he said.
“We’re pleased to add Haidee, Georgia and Tess to the Heat – they are keen and skilful and will complement the overall balance of the squad,’’ Richards said.
The Fire will welcome the final member of their squad, Indian left-hander Smriti Mandhana later this week ahead of their first matches.
The Heat will take on the Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on Sunday in a match to be broadcast live and exclusively on TEN from 1.10pm before meeting the Sixers again on Monday for the second game of their series which will be live-streamed.
2016-17 WBBL Brisbane Heat squad: Delissa Kimmince (c), Jessica Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Courtney Hill, Holly Ferling, Jemma Barsby, Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Smriti Mandhana (India), Kara Sutherland, Laura Harris, Sammy Jo Johnson, Kirby Short, Haidee Birkett, Georgia Prestwidge, Tess Cooper.