With Australian players Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney and Delissa Kimmince away at the ICC Women’s World T20 Cup in the West Indies, the Fire have named two potential debutants and another rookie in their 13-player squad for the games against the Tasmanian Tigers and Southern Scorpions on Friday and Sunday.
The squad includes Valley allrounder Charli Knott, who at 15-years, 11 months, will be the second youngest player to debut for the Fire since the team adopted that identity in 1996.
Knott, a student at Brisbane State High School, played her junior cricket in Mackay with Magpies, Brothers and the Mackay Hurricanes girls team before her family moved to Brisbane.
A top order right-handed bat, she became one of the youngest players to score a century in the Katherine Raymont Shield Women’s Premier competition last summer when she produced 110 in a match-winning stand against a Gold Coast Dolphins attack including Kimmince and Australia ‘A’ quick Sammy-Jo Johnson.
As a 12-year-old, she was the inaugural recipient of the Jodie Fields Scholarship, a $2000 bursary awarded annually by the former Queensland and Australian captain to assist promising young female players.
As well as Knott, the Fire squad includes Townsville product Meagan Dixon and 17-year-old South Burnett allrounder Courtney Sippel.
Dixon, also an Australian and Queensland Indoor representative, took 4-28 for Wests against Valley in the Katherine Raymont Shield on the weekend while Sippel took 2-5.
The Fire squad for the WNCL round includes Johnson and wicket-keeper Josie Dooley who recently returned from a successful tour of India with the Australia ‘A’ squad.
Queensland Fire coach Pete McGiffin said the weekend round provided Queensland with a glimpse of is future.
“It’s exciting to give these young players a chance to show their skills, and for us to consider how best we encourage and develop them at this stage of their careers,’’ he said.
“Charli is a very skillful and level-headed player while Courtney and Meagan have taken big strides this season. It also means our senior players get the opportunity to show how good they can be in the absence of the Australian players.”
“I’m sure the Queensland girls in the West Indies will be thrilled for the players we have chosen and will wish them all the best as they go about the task at hand and perform at their best in the WT20.”
It’s nice to note too that the three players we have named have all enjoyed the chance to play juniors and rep cricket within the Queensland female pathways where they have worked hard and made the most of the chances that have come their way.”
Queensland players have been in strong form in the Women’s Premier competition, with allrounders Haidee Birkett (167) and Grace Harris (144), top order bat Tess Cooper (161) and captain Kirby Short (130) hitting centuries on the weekend.
The squad travels to Hobart on Thursday to prepare for their two games. The Fire won their opening match of the WNCL against defending champions NSW on the Gold Coast but lost the next game against ACT at Allan Border Field.
Konica Minolta Queensland Fire
Women’s National Cricket League, Fri v Tasmania, Sunday v South Australia, Hobart
Kirby Short (c), Jemma Barsby, Haidee Birkett, Tess Cooper, Meagan Dixon, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Courtney Sippel, (one to be omitted, 12th player to be named).