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Harmanpreet, Devine among the first nominations for the WBBL overseas draft

Sune Luus, Hayley Matthews and Chamari Athapaththu also named as the first nominees for the inaugural WBBL overseas draft

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
02-Aug-2023
Harmanpreet Kaur goes big, Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Renegades, Launceston, October 24, 2021

Harmanpreet Kaur goes big  •  Sarah Reed/Getty Images

Five international captains in Harmanpreet Kaur, Sophie Devine, Sune Luus, Hayley Matthews and Chamari Athapaththu are the first players unveiled as nominees for the inaugural WBBL overseas draft to be held on September 3 ahead of the upcoming season.
Four of the five players have been regulars in the WBBL with Devine and Harmanpreet both winning Player of the Tournament awards. Devine is the only player in WBBL history to have been named Player of the Tournament twice doing it in back-to-back seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21 for two different clubs in Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers, where she is currently the captain.
Previously, WBBL clubs have been free to recruit overseas players privately but for the first time this season the WBBL will have an overseas player draft after it was introduced in the men's BBL last season. Both drafts will be held on the same day on September 3 and will have the same format. Sydney Thunder have the first pick in the draft following the draft lottery on July 13.
International players will nominate for various salary bands with WBBL Platinum players to earn AUD$110,000 to be paid by the clubs from the AUD$732,000 salary cap. Gold players will earn AUD$90,000, Silver AUD$65,000 and Bronze will earn AUD$40,000.
Harmanpreet and Devine will almost certainly be Platinum players available to be selected in the first round. Four of the five will be eligible to be retention picks. Harmanpreet will be available to be retained by Melbourne Renegades as will Matthews and Athapaththu. Matthews only spent one edition there last year, having played five seasons previously with Hobart Hurricanes, but captained Renegades in two matches last season. Athapaththu played two seasons at Renegades in 2017-18 and 2018-19 but played in 2021-22 for Scorchers before returning to Renegades last year.
Devine can be retained by Scorchers but not Adelaide Strikers having been captain of the Scorchers for the past three seasons. Luus did play nine games with Brisbane Heat in 2018-19 but WBBL rules state that a player who was not on a team in the previous season can only be retained by a club if they have played at the club for a minimum of two seasons and haven't been contracted to another team. Luus has only played for one season at Heat.
Each club is only allowed one retention pick, meaning Renegades will need to choose between Harmanpreet, Matthews and Athapaththu as to which player they would like to retain. They can opt not to retain any of them. They could also re-draft all three if no other club chooses to take them when they are available.
The WBBL will announce further draft nominations in the coming weeks.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo