The English influx to the WBBL continues with Tammy Beaumont signing with Melbourne Renegades while Adelaide Strikers have signed Southern Brave off-spinning allrounder Georgia Adams for the upcoming season despite her having not played international cricket.
Beaumont's signing is not a surprise after the England opener had opted out of the WBBL overseas draft and instead had committed to the tournament via a new direct signing rule. Overseas players were given the option of bypassing the draft and signing directly with a club, but could only do so at a restricted salary of AU$61,750, despite the platinum and gold picks in the draft earning AU$110,000 and AU$90,000 respectively.
Beaumont joined England team-mates Amy Jones (Perth Scorchers) and Sophia Dunkley (Melbourne Stars), as well as South Africa pair Mignon du Preez (Brisbane Heat) and Lizelle Lee (Hobart Hurricanes), and New Zealander Suzie Bates in taking the direct nomination route. Bates is expected to return to Sydney Sixers but it has yet to be confirmed.
Beaumont played for Renegades previously in 2019 before having three seasons with Sydney Thunder, including playing in their 2020 title success. She started her WBBL career at Strikers, playing three seasons there between 2016 and 2018.
Coach Simon Helmot told ESPNcricinfo at the overseas draft that Renegades needed to bolster their batting, hence they had recruited three top-order overseas players.
"We have to improve our batting," Helmot said. "We need runs, and that's something that we missed last season, obviously with Harmanpreet not able to come and with Jess Duffin then not able to play either, we just didn't recover from that. So batting depth is what we're looking to develop."
Meanwhile, Strikers have made a bold move in recruiting Adams, who will also play for New South Wales this season, despite the fact she has not played international cricket. Strikers only took two players at the draft, South Africa's Laura Wolvaardt and emerging England allrounder Danielle Gibson. They did not retain title-winning West Indies allrounder Deandra Dottin mainly due to salary cap constraints.
Instead, they have opted to sign Adams post the draft which is allowed under WBBL rules after the 29-year-old had nominated but was not selected by any team. Adams reunites with Strikers coach Luke Williams after the pair worked together to help Southern Brave win the Women's Hundred this year, with Williams working as an assistant coach under Charlotte Edwards.
Adams was a key contributor for Brave in their title with both bat and ball. She was the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps and an economy rate of just 6.83. She also made a match-winning 50 not out from 32 balls against Oval Invincibles late in the season and contributed a vital 27 in the low-scoring final.
"Georgia is someone that consistently performs in domestic cricket in the UK and is able to perform in a number of different roles with bat, ball and in the field," Williams said.
"Her adaptability and ability to perform under pressure is something that stood out and fitted what we were looking for.
"Georgia is a great team person who has some experience in leadership positions as well, so I have no doubt that Georgia will fit in fantastically with the Strikers group and I'm really looking forward to her contribution."