YOUNG GUNS ON BOARD | Fire Set For 2024-25 WNCL

English international batter Lauren Winfield-Hill will join the Queensland Fire after accepting a contract offer for the 2024-25 cricket season.

The 33-year-old turned out for Queensland in the second half of last season after playing in the Weber Women’s Big Bash League with Perth.

The wife of former Queensland and Brisbane Heat pace bowler and Heat assistant coach Courtney Winfield-Hill, she helped the Fire qualify for the Women’s National Cricket League Final won by Tasmania in Hobart.

With more than 100 international appearances across Test, ODIs and T20Is in her career, Winfield-Hill will add experience and firepower to the Queensland batting line-up for the coming Women’s National Cricket League summer.

She is one of four newly contracted players for the Fire, along with a trio of young guns in Sunshine Coast wicket-keeper Mikayla Wrigley, Valley batter Lucinda Bourke and Wests allrounder Lily Bassingthwaite.

Wrigley, 20, earns her inaugural Fire contract after a string of consistent performances across a range of competitions and teams over the past two seasons, including back-to-back seasons of scoring 750 runs or more in Queensland Premier cricket.

The former Queensland Under-19 representative was player of the tournament in the Australian Country championships in Newcastle earlier this year where the Queensland Brolgas were undefeated.

Wrigley was awarded the Kath Smith Medallist as the best player in the Katherine Raymont Shield last season after scoring 750 runs, and again produced a strong effort for the Sunshine Coast Scorchers this summer where she hit 786 runs across KFC T20 Max and One Day competitions.

Bourke, 18, is a Warwick product who had a top score of 107 during the season in the Katherine Raymont Shield for premiers Valley as well as playing for Queensland at Under-19 level.

The left-handed bat is also a talented athlete, representing Australia in Rugby Sevens at the Youth Commonwealth Games last year.

Bassingthwaighte,17, is a Year 11 student at All Hallows and represented Queensland at Under-19 level last season.She is a right-arm pace bowler and middle order batter.

There are four players coming off the contracted playing list in Zoe Cooke, Mikayla Hinkley, Ellie Johnston and Ruth Johnston.

Queensland Cricket General Manager - Elite Cricket, Joe Dawes, thanked the players who have stepped off the contract list.

“We are confident they will continue to play a positive role in cricket and wish them every success in the future,’’ he said.

“As has been the case in the past, those players going off the list will have the chance to be upgraded to a contract during the season through selection in the Fire team based on their efforts in the Katherine Raymont Shield, including the KFC T20 Max competition,’’ Dawes said.

“Lauren Winfield-Hill was great around the group this season and her experience and batting ability has been identified as an important element to maintain across the summer.

“We’re of course very pleased to have three more young Queenslanders emerge from our underage elite teams and look forward to providing them with opportunities to grow their skills and make an impact on the game,’’ he said.

The Fire’s one-day WNCL season will get underway in late September and finish in March, with players from the squad also set to be involved in the second tier Women’s T20 competition announced earlier this month by Cricket Australia that will feature the eight WBBL clubs as well as the ACT Meteors. That competition will be played prior to the Weber Women’s Big Bash League.

 

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