Talented young batting all-rounder Annabel Sutherland and medium pacer Chloe Rafferty have been signed on the back of strong performances at club and underage representative levels.
Sutherland was the youngest to debut in the WBBL when she represented the Melbourne Renegades at just 15 years of age last season, playing four games. The right-hander has posted scores of 61 and 49 not out in her past two outings for Prahran in Premier Cricket, where she has opened the batting.
The younger sister of Victorian all-rounder Will, Annabel has represented both her state and the Cricket Australia XI at various underage levels. She is currently playing for Victoria at the Under 18 Female National Championships in Canberra and said she was looking forward to her second season in the WBBL.
“I loved the experience of last season’s WBBL and I can’t wait to join up with the Stars following these Championships,” she said.
“I’ve been working hard on all areas of my game and feel like I’m hitting the ball well. I’m excited and hopeful that I get the opportunity to play more games, and feel confident that I can make a strong contribution. Regardless of game time, I’m sure I’ll love being around the team and I know I’ll learn a lot from the experience.
“There’s plenty of familiar faces from the VicSpirit squad in the Stars’ camp and hopefully I get to pick the brains of some of the male players at the club too, like Bobby Quiney and Luke Wright.”
Chloe Rafferty adds to the Stars’ bowling depth following stand-out performances for Essendon-Maribyrnong Park in Victorian Premier Cricket. Named in the 2016-17 Team of the Season, 18 year-old Rafferty was subsequently offered a VicSpirit contract.
Hailing from Moama on the Victoria-New South Wales border, Rafferty recently played Indoor Cricket for Australia’s Under 22 women’s team in a four-game Trans-Tasman Challenge series. Her national selection followed a successful campaign for the Victorian Under 22s, where Chloe played alongside her twin sister, Paris.
“I’m so thrilled to be picked up by the Melbourne Stars,” Rafferty said.
“Playing club cricket with ‘Beamsy’ (new Stars captain Kristen Beams) and under (coach) Karen Rolton, I’ve been able to tap into some great resources and really develop as a player over the past couple of seasons.
“They’ve been wonderful supporters and made all the travel and hard work worthwhile. I love the challenge of T20 cricket because you’ve got to draw on your skill, have good plans and nail your execution. I can’t wait for it to start.”
Melbourne Stars WBBL coach David Hemp commented:
“Both Annabel and Chloe are emerging talents and are excellent additions to our list,” he said.
“They’ve each got skill sets that are developing strongly and they’re also players of great character – so it will be fantastic to have them around the group.”
Melbourne Stars WBBL|03 Squad
Kristen Beams (c)
Mignon du Preez