South Africa allrounder Nadine de Klerk, who impressed in the T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia, has signed for the Brisbane Heat ahead of this season's WBBL with Cricket South Africa confirming their players will be allowed to travel to Australia for the tournament.
De Klerk, who competed nationally as a javelin thrower before being selected for the 2017 World Cup as a 17-year-old, took 3 for 19 at the SCG in March but was unable to help South Africa into the T20 World Cup final as Australia won by five runs amid the drama of the rain. She will join New Zealand duo Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green as the Heat's overseas contingent for the WBBL.
"I'm pretty excited, it's always been a dream and that's what you work for," de Klerk said. "It's a really great opportunity and I'm really excited to play against some of my team-mates and alongside some legends.
"Earlier this year was my first time in Australia but I loved every bit of it and there's no better tournament than the WBBL. Hopefully I can perform well for the Heat."
Heat coach Ashley Noffke said: "Anyone who saw Nadine charge in and bowl without fear against the best team in the world would have been impressed. She's got very good skills and is certainly a player who likes to lead by example. We're very confident she will complement the squad we are assembling, and it will be exciting for our fans to see her in action when we get underway."
On Tuesday, CSA confirmed that individual athletes are able to get exemptions from the government to travel while South Africa's borders are shut due to Covid-19. The national side had to cancel their tour to England in September due to the restictions.
"National teams are restricted from travelling but individual players competing in events deemed as work are permitted to travel subject to them being COVID-19 compliant in the country they are travelling to and upon their return to South Africa," the statement said.
"This means that several Proteas will have opportunity to feature in this year's Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) from 17 October until 29 November."
There are expected to be changes to the WBBL schedule due to various Covid-19 travel and border restrictions with the possibility that the tournament will be staged entirely in one state.
"Everyone is quite eager to get out on the park, four months is a long time and we haven't played any cricket," de Klerk said. "It's a great opportunity with the England tour being cancelled."