Sophie Devine joins Perth Scorchers in major WBBL signing

Sophie Devine is one of the standout players in the world ICC

The Perth Scorchers will be able to field a formidable top order in the Women's Big Bash having secured the signing of Sophie Devine who has also been named captain.

Devine joins Australia batter Beth Mooney as major acquisitions for the Scorchers as they look to reshape their batting unit following Meg Lanning's move back to the Melbourne Stars.

Devine has been one of the in-form players in the world over the last 18 months and was the player of the tournament in last season's WBBL where she scored 769 runs and took 19 wickets for the Adelaide Strikers.

ALSO READ: Beth Mooney quits Brisbane Heat to fill Meg Lanning's shoes at Perth Scorchers

She then led New Zealand at the T20 World Cup earlier this year and has since been named their permanent captain. In the build-up to the World Cup she became the first player to make five consecutive 50+ scores in T20Is, a run she extended to six.

Devine has strong links with Western Australia having been part of the WNCL set-up, a period she has credited for her prolific form.

"It's a huge honour to be joining the Scorchers and leading the side this season, it's an exciting new challenge for me and the team as we build towards the WBBL finals," she said. "When the opportunity to play for Perth came up it was a pretty hard one to turn down, the Scorchers have a great history in the WBBL and BBL and I'm really looking forward to joining such a successful club.

"I have spent some quality time in the WA set-up, which has really helped me further my game and I am looking forward to playing under [coach] Shelley [Nitschke], we have a great relationship and I have played a lot of cricket with her too over my years with the Strikers."

Nitschke said: "Sophie has proven herself as one of the best T20 players in the world, we are privileged to have her join the Perth Scorchers. A match-winner with both the bat and the ball, Sophie will be a great influence on the group as both a leader and role model."

Devine is not the only New Zealander to have inked in their WBBL season with the Brisbane Heat have re-signed duo Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green as they hunt of a hat-trick of titles.

Both players had important roles in the Heat's title-winning campaign last season. Green scored 309 runs in 15 innings, including a vital 46 off 29 balls in the semi-final against the Melbourne Renegades, while Kerr took 14 wickets at 25.50 and an economy rate of 6.22 with her legspin.

"Maddy took on the role we gave her and showed her class and composure throughout, as well as providing another element to our leadership group. Amelia has enormous presence for a player so young and she thrived in the WBBL environment," coach Ashley Noffke said. "I think both players got a lot out of the experience, and they were certainly key recruits for us when it came to finalising our list."

There remains considerable work to do be done as to how overseas players will be accommodated in the tournament this season due to the travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 but there is hope they will be available for the competition. New Zealand are scheduled to be in Australia from late September for a tour which includes three T20Is and three ODIs

"Like a lot of things now, we have some plans in place but will need to be agile when it comes to finalizing things," Noffke said. "New Zealand are due to be here playing Australia in September and October, so hopefully we can work things out around that."

The Heat only had one player - allrounder Delissa Kimmince - on contract after last season so there is plenty of business for them to do ahead of defending their title. Last week they announced Jess Jonassen as their new captain following the retirement of Kirby Short.