Lizelle Lee off to Renegades, Jess Jonassen to lead Heat

Lizelle Lee's power game will now be utilised by the Renegades Getty Images

Meg Lanning's move from Perth Scorchers to Melbourne Stars for this summer's WBBL has had another apparent knock-on effect, after South Africa's heavy hitter Lizelle Lee exited the Stars to take up a fresh deal with the crosstown Melbourne Renegades.

Lee's power game, which reaped a pair of centuries for the Stars in addition to 74 T20I appearances for South Africa to date, will now be utilised by the Renegades, who also confirmed they had retained the services of the spin bowling allrounder Sophie Molineux for a further two years.

"I'm thrilled to be heading back to the WBBL and joining a new team will provide some extra motivation," Lee said. "The Renegades have done well recently and hopefully I can make a positive impact. I've had the pleasure of playing against a lot of these players in the WBBL and internationally, but it'll be nice to be on the same team this time."

Molineux has maintained her record as a one-club player with the Renegades. "It has been a special privilege to be a part of the club since the beginning of the WBBL," she said. "In that time it's been a huge highlight to have formed some really incredible friendships with many people across the club. It feels as though every year the competition reaches a new standard and so it's another exciting challenge for us this season. I'm very much looking forward to it."

Up north in Brisbane, the Heat announced that they would now be captained by Australia's leading T20 spin bowler Jess Jonassen, after Kirby Short retired as a triumphant title-holding skipper at the end of last summer.

"We know we will be tested on a number of fronts this summer, but I firmly believe we should embrace those challenges and be ready to perform to the best of our ability, individually and as a squad,'' Jonassen said. "We have seen the WBBL perform an increasingly valuable role in growing the game with women and girls and inspiring them to support and participate in cricket, especially when you see how big the World Cup was for the game in this country.

"As a Heat player, the memories of the support we received at home and away in the past two championship seasons from our fans, and our friends and families, still gives me goosebumps and it is a greatest incentive we have to produce our best again this season. With Kirby stepping down after playing such an influential role with the club, it's a privilege to take on the job as skipper, and I'm excited to be part of what we are building here."

The Heat have lost Beth Mooney to the Perth Scorchers, who swooped to sign the accomplished opener in the wake of Lanning's move back east to the Stars.