More evidence of a WBBL player recruitment crisis has emerged with the signing by the Adelaide Strikers of former Southern Star Shelly Nitschke.
Nitschke was a very good international player who played over 100 matches for Australia in the 00s, scoring over 3,000 runs and taking more than 150 wickets in her career.
But Nitschke is 38 years old and hasn’t played a serious competitive match since her retirement 4 years ago, in 2011 – a period in which she herself frankly admits (in this interview) that there have been “big changes”.
Of course, there is precedent from the Men’s BBL, with Shane Warne playing into his cricketing dotage; but Warne is an All Time Great™ for whom the term “Box Office” was practically invented; and with every respect to Nitschke’s significant achievements in the game, she nevertheless isn’t quite in that league.
Let’s be clear here: the Strikers can market this for all they want as a coup for the WBBL, but the truth is that it is really further evidence of a dearth of genuine talent available, as Cricket Australia wakes up to the fact that 8 teams really was two too many.