Lightning secure three world-class internationals for this year’s KSL campaign

Lightning have secured the signings of three world-class internationals for this year’s KSL campaign. New Zealand stalwart Sophie Devine returns for her third season in purple, with debut Lightning seasons for West Indies powerhouse allrounder Hayley Matthews and arguably South Africa’s most respected batter Mignon du Preez.

 

Fans favourite Devine will be back to continue her KSL prowess with both bat and ball. Devine was the league second highest wicket-taker just one behind fellow Lightning player Kirstie Gordon in 2018. Opening the batting, Devine was also in the top ten batting scoring 269 runs, high scoring 61* and averaging a strike rate of 146.99. Post-KSL 2018, Devine was named in the Adelaide Strikers’ squad for the Big Bash League. Devine’s Big Bash stats see’s the New Zealander play 50 matches scoring 1405 runs and taking 41 wickets. Devine also signed for Supernovas in the Women’s T20 Challenge in India where she helped her team win the inaugural final. In March, Devine was recognised as the ANZ International T20 Player of the Year. Big hitter Devine is also the first ever woman to hit nine sixes in One-day International cricket.

Matthews will be an exciting prospect for Lightning being an option with both bat and ball. Having played for Southern Vipers and Lancashire Thunder Matthews will know exactly what to expect this season. At just 21 years old, Matthews plays far beyond her youth opening the batting for West Indies and often being the first change bowler. Matthews was selected for the Women’s T20 Challenge in India representing the Velocity in their inaugural season. Playing in the Big Bash league, Matthews career snapshot with Hobart Hurricanes spans across all four BBL season scoring 737 runs and taking 29 wickets. Internationally, Matthews made her debut for Barbados at the age of 12 with her West Indies cap coming four years later. Most recently, Matthews scored her maiden T20I century scoring 107* off 62 balls against Ireland.

Also emerging on the scene at just 12 years old, du Preez was titled a school-girl prodigy scoring a double-century in pro40. Debuting for the Proteas in 2007, du Preez scored an maiden 55* against Pakistan. The following year du Preez scored a record 224 partnership with Johmari Logtenberg against the Netherlands and In 2011 she was crowned captain where she led the team to new heights before resigning from captaincy in 2016 to focus on her batting. This season du Preez makes the switch from rival KSL side Southern Vipers where she played in both 2017 and 2018 campaigns. The former South African captain is a huge name in the global domestic game with a Big Bash career spanning 35 matches, 714 runs averaging a strike rate of 102.44 for Melbourne stars. The lethal batter will look to punish sides with her wealth of experience.

Head Coach Rob Taylor commented:

"I’m extremely excited by the overseas players we have got coming to play for us this summer. All three of them come in with previous Super League experience and proven records in international cricket. I believe between them, we have got a great balance of skills and have secured 3 brilliant people which is always key for us. I know they will offer support and learning to our local players and drive our performances on the field."

Lightning’s first game of the KSL season is agaisnt Western Storm on Tuesday 6 August at Haslegrave Cricket Ground.

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