Queensland had three players signed to national contacts recently in Australian players Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney and Delissa Kimmince.
Additionally, first season player Josie Dooley was a member of the Australian Under-19 team that won a tri-series in South Africa which marked the inaugural tour by an Australian Women’s Youth team.
Dooley, a wicket-keeper and top order bat, hit three half centuries during the tour.
The Fire will welcome two more talented home-grown talents to their squad this summer, as well as a rising overseas star for the WNCL, which features a one-day competition format involving all the States and the ACT.
Murgon teenage allrounder Courtney Sippel and Townsville’s Meagan Dixon are first time contracted players while Dutch international Sterre Kalis, a batting allrounder, will spend the summer in Brisbane, the second year she has played cricket in Australia.
Kalis, 18, was an Associate Rookie with the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL last season before finishing the season playing Women’s Premier Cricket in Hobart where she won the Kim Fazackerley Medal as the player of the competition.
She made her international debut while still at school, playing for the Netherlands women's national cricket team in the 2015 ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier. She is currently playing for Essex in England.
Dixon is an Australian Indoor Player who was a member of the World Cup championship team last year. She also played for the Queensland Country women’s team in outdoor cricket last summer and finished the season playing for Wests in the Katherine Raymont Shield competition in the Queensland Women’s Premier competition.
The 21-year-old, whose two younger sisters have also represented Australia at Indoor Youth Level, was named as the Queensland Lightning Indoor Player of the year at the recent Queensland Cricket Awards Dinner.
Sippel, a right-arm pace-bowler and middle order bat, played in the WBBL Under-18 exhibition match during the season after impressing in the Queensland Under-18 Women’s team at the National championships.
She also caught the eye with 5-23 in a Queensland XI that defeated the touring USA Women’s team in a one-day game in April.
Queensland have also welcomed former Australian bat Jess Duffin (nee Cameron) for the 2018-19 season after previously playing with Victoria.
A skillful right-handed top order bat, Duffin successfully mixed football and cricket commitments last summer, playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League and Collingwood in the AFLW.
She has played three Tests, 50 One Day Internationals and 64 T20 Internationals in her career for Australia, and will provide added batting depth and on-field experience for the Fire, especially in the first half of the season.
Fire coach Peter McGiffin said Duffin would provide valuable on-field direction.
“She’s a talented and experienced player who has produced plenty of important performances for Australia during her career so we expect she will be a positive contributor for us, especially with the Australian players having World T20 commitments in the early rounds of the WNCL,’’ he said.
“We’re excited that Sterre is joining us. She’s got plenty of ability and we believe she will work in nicely alongside the other talented young players on our list like Josie Dooley, Courtney Sippel and Georgia Prestwidge,’’ he said.
“Meagan Dixon has come to us through a slightly different path but she is strongly competitive whether it is indoor or outdoor cricket and we think she will benefit from being part of the Fire program this summer.”
Players not contracted from last year include Kara Sutherland (retired) and Courtney Hill, who recently turned her skills to playing Rugby League for Leeds in the United Kingdom.
Konica Minolta has extended its long-term partnership with Queensland Cricket for another year, continuing as the naming rights sponsor of the Queensland Fire.
Konica Minolta are now in their second decade of consecutive years of sponsorship with Queensland Cricket.
EPIC Pharmacy, the inaugural sponsor of the WBBL Brisbane Heat, will take up a role as the official coach partner of the Fire and the WBBL Heat as well as appear on the training apparel of the Fire, Queensland Under-18 and Queensland Under-15 Pathway teams as part of a new three-year agreement.
Queensland Cricket General Manager – Marketing and Commercial Andrew McShea congratulated EPIC on their new sponsorship.
“EPIC are strong in their support for women’s sport and we thank them for continuing their commitment with Queensland Cricket, especially in the female pathways space. We will look forward to continuing to work alongside them to further develop cricket for women and girls,’’ he said.
“And we are delighted Konica Minolta have continued their sponsorship as naming rights partner of the Fire. This is one of our most lasting partnerships and we gratefully acknowledge their outstanding contribution to the game in Queensland,’’ McShea said.
2018-19 Konica Minolta Queensland Fire
Jessica JONASSEN (University of Qld)
Delissa KIMMINCE (Gold Coast)
Bethany MOONEY (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Jemma BARSBY (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Haidee BIRKETT (University of Qld
Tess COOPER (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Meagan DIXON (Wests)
Josie DOOLEY (Wests)
Jess DUFFIN (TBC)
Holly FERLING (Wests)
Laura HARRIS (University of Qld)
Grace HARRIS (Wests)
Sammy – Jo JOHNSON (Gold Coast)
Sterre KALIS (TBC)
Georgia PRESTWIDGE (Sandgate-Redcliffe)
Kirby SHORT (Wests)
Courtney SIPPEL (Wests)
Out: Kara Sutherland, Courtney Hill, Carly Fuller