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Pyrah: We are assembling a quality squad for the Diamonds

— 14 April 2016

Yorkshire Diamonds coach Rich Pyrah has hailed the capture of Alex Blackwell, Beth Mooney and Shabnim Ismail as their three overseas players for this summer’s inaugural Kia Women’s Super League.

Blackwell, a former Australia captain, will arrive at Headingley ahead of the late July start with a wealth of experience.

The batter from New South Wales, 32, has won a host of trophies at domestic and international level, including most recently the Women’s Big Bash title Down Under in January with Sydney Thunder, who she skippered.

Wicketkeeper batsman Beth Mooney, another Australia international, returns to the White Rose county having played for the club last year in 50-over cricket.

  • Shabnim Ismail playing for South Africa in the recent ICC World T20
  • Completing the recruits is South Africa fast bowler Shabnim Ismail, whose competitive nature has particularly impressed her new coach.

    “Alex’s experience will be key because we’ve got quite a young squad,” said Pyrah, the former Yorkshire men’s all-rounder.

    “She won the Big Bash as captain, and that’s going to be massive for us.

    “That was one of my main criteria for an overseas player. I wanted somebody who’s been there, done it and knows how to win.

    “Mooney and Blackwell were in the top five run-scorers in the Big Bash, and that competition’s what we’re trying to replicate over here. It’s exciting for us to have them.”

  • Alex Blackwell in action for Australia
  • Yorkshire had to put first choice picks for overseas players to the ECB as well as back-up choices.

    “We went for a top order batter, a keeper-batter and an opening bowler. We’ve got what we wanted, so we’re really happy.”

    The competition starts in late July, with each of the six teams playing five group matches ahead of a Finals Day at Chelmsford.

    “We’ll be going out to win every game,” added Pyrah. “We’re a big club, and we want to take that into women’s cricket as well.”

  • Beth Mooney (right) with Lauren Winfield
  • The trio of overseas signings adds to last week’s announcement of the county’s England players; captain Lauren Winfield, Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn and Danielle Hazell.