WBBL: Heat sign Nadine de Klerk, Thunder rope in Anika Learoyd

Brisbane Heat have secured South African all-rounder Nadine de Klerk for the upcoming Womens Big Bash League season.

The 20-year-old sprang to prominence with an eye-catching effort in the T20 Women’s World Cup semi-final against Australia at the SCG earlier this year. Called into the Proteas side on match day in place of a virus-hit Marizanne Kapp, de Klerk snapped up 3/19 in the Australian innings as South Africa fought hard in the rain-affected match to lose by just five 5 runs.

Heat coach Ashley Noffke said the introduction of another exciting young player was a boost for the club.

“Anyone who saw Nadine charge in and bowl without fear against the best team in the world would have been impressed,” Noffke said.

“She’s got very good skills and is certainly a player who likes to lead by example. We’re very confident she will complement the squad we are assembling, and it will be exciting for our fans to see her in action when we get underway,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sydney Thunder have signed talented teenager Anika Learoyd to a two-year deal ahead of the tournament.

The right-hander hit 541 runs at an average of 54.1 in the 2019/20 NSW Women’s Premier Cricket competition across the One-Day and T20 formats.

“Getting a WBBL contract is a goal that I’ve been working towards for a couple of years now so it’s exciting to see that hard work paying off,” Learoyd said.

“It was a great experience to be invited along to a couple of Thunder training sessions last season and I’m really looking forward to being part of it this season.”

Sydney Thunder Head Coach Trevor Griffin said this is a natural progression for the promising batter.

“It’s exciting to have another high-quality batter coming into our side,” Griffin said.

“Anika has performed really well through Cricket NSW pathway programs and this is a great opportunity for her to step up and showcase her abilities on a bigger stage.”

A full 59-game fixture for WBBL 6 has been scheduled across October and November, with Thunder set to open its season on October 17 against the Scorchers in Perth.

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