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Australia quick Tayla Vlaeminck has returned to Melbourne Renegades, signing a two-year deal despite the fact she is unavailable for next season's WBBL due to a foot stress fracture.
"I'm really excited that I've decided to come back to the Renegades," Vlaeminck said. "It's enticing to be back at home and close to family and friends. I've grown up with 'Soph' and 'Wolf' and a lot of the girls. I obviously played at the Renegades with a lot of the girls beforehand as well, so I know everyone really well and hopefully, it's going to be an easy transition back into the team."
Vlaeminck has been ruled out of cricket for a year following another navicular stress fracture in her foot which she suffered in January during the early stages of the Ashes and meant she missed the ODI World Cup. It was the second consecutive global event injury had curtailed for her after she withdrew from the 2020 T20 World Cup.
She will not play in the WBBL for Renegades in the first year of her two-year deal but will rehab under their watch. Part of her recovery to strengthen her feet has included working with The Australian Ballet.
"We're starting to make good progress now, which is nice," Vlaeminck said. "I obviously won't be playing this season but hopefully I'll be able to contribute off the field, still get around the girls and help out some of the bowlers and look to play the following year, which is exciting."
"Training at the ballet is something completely different...it's been kind of cool to get into a different high-performance environment to see how that works and grab a few little things here and there which I can hopefully bring back to cricket."
Melbourne Renegades general manager James Rosengarten said Vlaeminck's signing was a long-term investment.
"Tayla won't play this year as she continues her recovery, but we're committed to supporting her through this period," Rosengarten said. "She already has strong relationships at the club and we know she will be a great asset to our group off the field too.
"Our list strategy is not only about building our squad for WBBL08, but to set us up to challenge over a sustained period. To have the likes of Tayla, Sophie and Georgia locked in beyond this season is fantastic and we look forward to adding more talent ahead of the season."