The Melbourne Stars’ 2021/22 WBBL campaign has gained another exciting addition with the signing of England batter Maia Bouchier today.
The 22-year-old has been signed by Team Green after debuting for her country against New Zealand earlier this month during its T20 international series.
Looking to bolster their batting behind star players Meg Lanning, Elyse Villani and all-rounder Annabel Sutherland, the signing of Bouchier adds international class to the Stars roster. Having fallen one short in the 2020/21 WBBL season, Bouchier said that she was excited to help the Stars take the next step this summer.
“I’ve watched the WBBL over recent seasons from the UK and we know what a quality tournament it is to be a part of,” Bouchier said.
“The Stars have some fantastic players and I know how close they went to winning the title last year, so hopefully I can make a contribution to a successful season.”
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Despite her young age, Bouchier will arrive in Melbourne with plenty of limited-overs experience, coming off her current campaign with England’s Southern Vipers in the one-day Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy before starting her WBBL career.
The batter has also played a hand in the Southern Brave’s exploits throughout the recent The Hundred competition, averaging 30 runs throughout the tournament and finishing in the top ten for batting strike rates across all players.
She also brings championship success to the table, having played an instrumental role in the Vipers’ recent Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy winning season.
Bouchier scored the second most runs for the Vipers in their victorious campaign, and backed up her claims from 2020 when she told the Cricketer magazine that she aspired to become “the next Nat Sciver.”
Bouchier will still bring plenty to the Stars despite not being able to bowl, as her action was labelled ‘suspect’ last October, requiring remedial work on her technique before she can return to bowling in domestic competitions.
Stars WBBL coach Jarrad Loughman believes Bouchier will provide “added depth” to their “strong batting line-up.”
“She had a good tournament at The Hundred and it was great to see her rewarded with her England selection,” Loughman said.
“Maia’s was a name we had as one to watch and we look forward to seeing what she can do in green this season,” Loughman said.
Melbourne Stars WBBL Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Elyse Villani, Annabel Sutherland, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Anna Lanning, Georgia Gall, Rhys McKenna, Erin Osborne, Maia Bouchier (ENG).
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