Sat, 02 Jul 2022

Melbourne [Australia], May 20 (ANI): Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) announced on Friday that the wicket-keeper batter Beth Mooney will be representing Western Australia in state cricket after switching from Queensland.

"World-class opener Beth Mooney is poised to pull on the black and yellow this season, after nominating Western Australia as her domestic team for 2022-23," said an official statement from WACA.

A star at the top of the order for Australia and Perth Scorchers' WBBL side, the Queensland product has accumulated 1,750 runs (two centuries, 12 half-centuries) from 54 ODIs.

She also boasts the seventh-highest ODI average of all-time (50.00) among those who have batted 20 times or more for their country.

Mooney, 28, will remain based in Queensland due to her international commitments but is expected to spend large periods of the summer in Perth offering invaluable advice and experience to WA's youthful squad.

Promising off-spinner Lilly Mills will also make the switch from Queensland to WA after impressing during the Scorchers' triumphant WBBL07 campaign with 16 wickets at 12.81.

Mills finished as Perth's equal second-highest wicket-taker behind teammate Heather Graham (18 at 16.66) and level with Australia regular Alana King (16 at 18.25).

The 21-year-old has flourished since a chance conversation at training four years ago saw her give away medium pace to bowl off-breaks.

An allrounder in her younger years, Mills is also capable at the batting crease.

Spin-bowling allrounder Charis Bekker and batter Poppy Stockwell have earned their first full WA Cricket contracts after showing promising form during WA's 2021-22 WNCL campaign.

Meantime, Piepa Cleary returns to the fold after a season away.

Mooney and King are contracted by Cricket Australia, affording WA the opportunity to assemble a 16-player squad.

WA Women's Head Coach Becky Grundy said, "We have done well to secure 'Moons' and Lilly. We have got a nice blend of younger players and senior players, which hopefully allows us to have sustained success. Anytime you can add an international player to your list is obviously a huge benefit and at the moment it looks like we will have Moons for a decent period of time over summer. Even taking away the stuff she brings on field, getting her around the girls for a few blocks of time is massive. It will give her the chance to impart her knowledge.

"With Lilly, it is awesome to have her on board. She obviously showed us what she is capable of in the Big Bash, so adding another spinner into the WNCL squad is huge. It is probably something we missed a little last year, to be honest, and spin is such a huge part of the women's game. Adding her gives us really good depth. Seeing Charis and Poppy get contracts for the first time shows that our pathways are working, which is something we have invested a lot of time and effort into over the years," he added. (ANI)

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