Heat bypass draft to land prized signature of du Preez

Star batter joins two-time champions after skipping last week's overseas player draft

Brisbane Heat have pulled off a coup after landing one of the Weber WBBL's most prolific international players, bypassing the recent draft to sign former South Africa captain Mignon du Preez.

Du Preez, second only to Sophie Devine among overseas leading run scorers in the competition's history, has taken advantage of a mechanism allowing players to dodge last week's draft and instead negotiate directly with a club.

It comes with a catch, with salaries capped at $61,750 for those taking advantage of the rule.

Given du Preez's pedigree would likely have seen her classed as a 'platinum' level player in the draft (commanding a $A110k base salary), she has effectively taken a near 50 per cent pay cut to play for the two-time champions.

The Heat will be the right-hander's third WBBL club, having played in all but one of the previous eight WBBL tournaments for the Melbourne Stars and the Hobart Hurricanes.

"Minnie is a proven match-winner with the bat, especially in Australian conditions," Heat coach Ashley Noffke said. "She is a calm and composed leader and a great person, so naturally we are thrilled to have her joining the Heat for the summer."

Du Preez, who retired from international cricket in December after featuring in more than 250 games for the Proteas, will join New Zealand allrounder Amelia Kerr (taken with the Heat's platinum pick in the draft) and England's Bess Heath (silver) in Brisbane this summer.

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Five other WBBL overseas players opted to sacrifice potential draft earnings and take the direct route: England's Sophie Dunkley (Melbourne Stars), Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones, South Africa's Lizelle Lee, and New Zealand's Suzie Bates.

Jones has been linked to Perth Scorchers where she could join draft picks Sophie Devine and Danni Wyatt, while White Ferns allrounder Bates could sign with Sydney Sixers.

Beaumont is not eligible to join her club of the past three seasons, Sydney Thunder, after they signed their allotment of three players in the draft.

Brisbane has one spot left to complete its 15-player squad.

Brisbane Heat WBBL09 squad (so far): Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Ellie Johnston, Jess Jonassen, Charli Knott, Grace Parsons, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll. Internationals: Amelia Kerr (NZ), Bess Heath (England), Mignon du Preez (South Africa).