WBBL Draft recap: Kapp goes first in inaugural draft

Perth Scorchers make massive call as Thunder swoop to nab star South Africa allrounder with first pick

The first pick of the inaugural WBBL Draft has produced a massive call, with Marizanne Kapp to wear the lime green of the Sydney Thunder in Weber WBBL|09 after the Perth Scorchers elected not to use their retention pick on the Proteas superstar allrounder.

The Thunder selected Kapp with the No.1 pick, who will play at her third WBBL club having also previously played for the Sydney Sixers.

The Scorchers had arguably the toughest decision to make when it came to their retention pick, given both Kapp – their best player from WBBL|08 – and their captain Sophie Devine were set to be in hot demand.

Of the eight WBBL clubs, only the Thunder selected three internationals from a massive pool of 121 players from 16 countries, with the other seven clubs opting to pass twice.

A total of $1.605 million was spent on players, with the Thunder ($285,000) outlaying the most, followed by the Renegades ($220,000), with both clubs selecting two players at the platinum level.

WBBL|09 Draft selections

Round one

1. Marizanne Kapp – Sydney Thunder (Platinum)

Kapp has a knack for stepping up on the biggest stages – as seen in her player-of-the-final performance for the Scorchers in WBBL|07. A long-time Sydney Sixer, the fiery allrounder made the switch to Perth for the past two seasons. An incredibly effective pace bowler, Kapp's batting has also come along in leaps and bounds in recent years as she transformed herself into a powerful middle-order striker.

2. Sophie Devine – Perth Scorchers (RETENTION PICK – Platinum)

The Melbourne Renegades attempt to poach Devine triggered Perth to activate their retention rights. Few overseas players have had as big an impact on the WBBL as Devine, who is a fan favourite both for her feats with bat and ball and for her charity challenges. After starting her Big Bash career in Adelaide, she captained the Scorchers for the past three WBBL seasons.

3. Hayley Matthews – Melbourne Renegades (Platinum)

With their second attempt, the Renegades landed the West Indies skipper who is the world's second-ranked T20I allrounder, who adds plenty with her top-order batting and off-spin bowling. Her WBBL career started at the Hurricanes, before she returned for a stint with the Renegades in WBBL|08.

4. Alice Capsey – Melbourne Stars (Platinum)

The 19-year-old prodigy made her international debut in mid-2022 and has quickly established herself at the highest level. Capsey set Lord's alight with her 23-ball 46 against Australia during the Ashes, while the teenager played several key knocks in the Melbourne Stars' top-order in WBBL|08.

5. Shabnim Ismail – Hobart Hurricanes (Platinum)

One of the quickest bowlers in the world, Shabnim Ismail has been terrorising batters around the world for more than a decade. She started her WBBL career with the Renegades, spent time with the Thunder then returned to her former Melbourne home for WBBL|08.

6. Amelia Kerr – Brisbane Heat (Platinum)

Amelia Kerr has been making headlines since she debuted for New Zealand aged 16 in 2016. Her famous wrong'un has been bamboozling the world’s best batters since she arrived on the international stage, while her skills with the bat have improved as she has evolved into a true allrounder. She arrived at the Heat in 2019 and has been a core member of their squad since.

7. Chloe Tryon – Sydney Sixers (Platinum)

There are few more damaging batters in the world than Tryon when she gets going. Unfortunately for the Thunder, she failed to fire in WBBL|08 scoring just 97 runs in 10 matches, but will hope for a return to her best this time around on the magenta side of Sydney.

8. Pass – Adelaide Strikers

A shock from the defending WBBL champions, who much like the Scorchers in the inaugural BBL Draft, opt to pass in the Platinum round. Adelaide has one of the strongest domestic squads on paper and by holding the last pick in both the first and second rounds, they still could still use their retantion pick to secure superstars Laura Wolvaardt, Deandra Dottin or Stafanie Taylor should another team try to grab them.

Round two

9. Heather Knight – Sydney Thunder (Platinum)

Knight played a key role in Sydney Thunder's second WBBL title in 2020 and was due to again wear the lime green last summer until England's captain was forced to withdraw due to a hip injury. Her leadership, experience and batting prowess makes her an enormous asset to any XI she features in.

10. Harmanpreet Kaur – Melbourne Renegades (Platinum)

India's captain was player of the tournament in WBBL|07 after dominating with bat and ball for the Renegades. Kaur had been due to play in red again last season but was forced to withdraw due to a back complaint, and fans will be delighted to see the veteran back in the WBBL this summer.

11. Danni Wyatt – Perth Scorchers (Gold)

Danni Wyatt is no stranger to the WBBL, having previously played for Melbourne Renegades and most recently, Brisbane Heat. The star England opener is one of the most exciting batters in the world when she gets going and has played more than 250 games for England across all formats.

12. Laura Wolvaardt – Adelaide Strikers (RETENTION PICK – Platinum)

The Stars attempt to pick up Laura Wolvaardt triggered the second retention pick of the draft, with Adelaide quick to activate their right to match. The prodigiously talented 24-year-old with one of the game's prettiest cover drives is back for another WBBL campaign. It will be a fourth successive season at the Strikers for Wolvaardt, who helped them claim their first title in WBBL|08.

13. Maia Bouchier – Melbourne Stars (Gold)

Bouchier has been a regular member of England’s T20I squads since making her international debut in 2021. The middle-order batter has spent one previous season in the WBBL, playing for Melbourne Stars in WBBL|07.

14. Bryony Smith – Hobart Hurricanes (Gold)

Off-spin bowling allrounder Bryony Smith has played a handful of matches for England since making her international bow in 2018. The 25-year-old caught the attention of the Hurricanes after some excellent recent displays in The Hundred, which included knocks of 70, 64 and 48 for Trent Rockets.

15. Pass – Brisbane Heat

16. Pass – Sydney Sixers

Round three

17. Dani Gibson – Adelaide Strikers (Silver)

Pace-bowling allrounder Dani Gibson made her England debut during the Ashes after dominant performances on the English domestic circuit. The 22-year-old is making her WBBL debut with the Strikers.

18. Lauren Bell – Sydney Thunder (Silver)

Towering right-arm quick Lauren Bell made her international debut in 2022, stepping up to lead England's bowling attack over the past year following the retirements of legends Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole. The 22-year-old, who plays for Southern Brave in The Hundred, will be appearing in the WBBL for the first time.

19. Bess Heath – Brisbane Heat (Silver)

Heath was a late addition to the Stars' list last summer, joining as a replacement player covering absences from Alice Capsey and later, Jemimah Rodrigues. The powerful top-order batter, who can also keep wicket, has yet to make a senior England debut but has been part of 'A' squads.

20. Pass – Hobart Hurricanes

The 'direct nomination' rule – a mechanism unique to the WBBL for players to bypass the draft and negotiate directly with a club after the draft is concluded – starts to come into play with clubs looking to pass for their third and fourth picks to save list space to sign a player directly.

The players who have opted for this approach are England trio Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones, South Africa pair Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, and New Zealand's Suzie Bates.

You can read more about the direct nomination process here.

21. Pass – Melbourne Stars

22. Pass – Perth Scorchers

23. Pass – Melbourne Renegades

24. Pass – Sydney Sixers

Round four

25. Jess Kerr – Sydney Sixers (Bronze)

Kerr had joined her younger sister Amelia for a stint at the Brisbane Heat last summer and captured six wickets in nine appearances in teal. The right-arm pace bowler has become a core member of the White Ferns attack since making her New Zealand debut in 2020.

26. Pass – Melbourne Renegades

27. Pass – Perth Scorchers

28. Pass – Melbourne Stars

29. Pass – Hobart Hurricanes

30. Pass – Brisbane Heat

31. Pass – Sydney Thunder

32. Pass – Adelaide Strikers