Australian captain Meg Lanning has fired up at England star Nat Sciver-Brunt’s decision to avoid the WBBL draft, allowing her to land at the Perth Scorchers.
Sciver-Brunt last played in the WBBL in 2020-21 with Lanning’s Melbourne Stars, after she previously appeared for the Scorchers from 2017-19.
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The world’s No.1 ranked ODI batter also played for the Stars during the first two WBBL seasons from 2015-17.
Had the 31-year-old made herself available for the competition draft in September instead of pulling out with a knee injury, the Stars would have been able to pick her as a retention selection.
But Sciver-Brunt is poised to play for the Scorchers in the upcoming tournament after her England teammate Danni Wyatt pulled out because of fatigue.
Allrounder Sciver-Brunt is the world’s No.1 ranked ODI batter. Credit: Getty Images
Lanning, who will make her WBBL comeback after a lengthy break from cricket for undisclosed medical reasons, is “pretty disappointed” the Stars have lost a key player to a rival in this fashion.
“She’s obviously one of the best players in the world and you want the best players playing in the competition,” Lanning said on Tuesday.
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”But she sort of made herself unavailable initially. All the players of her calibre went through the draft, or the pre-signing, and I guess she didn’t nominate for that.
“As a club, as the Stars, I certainly feel like we didn’t get the chance to exercise our retention rights that we would have, had she nominated for the draft instead of coming in this way.
“Not only does that impact us this year, but moving forward as well now because Perth have retention rights to her.”
Lanning’s comments set up an explosive match when the Stars meet the Scorchers in the WBBL, which gets under way on Thursday night.
“It’s frustrating because the goalposts seem to shift a little bit and we didn’t get a chance to get access to her,’‘ she said.
“It’s disappointing, but I guess that’s the way it goes, and we look forward to coming up against Perth and playing well against her and the team.”
Lanning said she believed the draft concept was “good”, but insisted Sciver-Brunt’s move to Perth should never have been allowed to happen.
“If there is going to be a draft you probably want to make sure that it happens how you plan it to,” she said.
BBL general manager Alistair Dobson this week defended the process.
“I probably don’t want to go into too much detail given the process is still ongoing, but there are mechanisms within our contracting rules for players to be available post the draft if their circumstances changed materially,” Dobson told The West Australian.
“That went through a review process when Nat and her agent expressed an interest in playing, despite not being able to previously ….
“Those rules exist for whether it’s the No.1 player in the world or the 100th player in the world. That doesn’t really come into it necessarily.”
Perth are awaiting official clearance before signing the star allrounder, who was crucial in England’s surging end to the women’s Ashes in July.
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