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WBBL news and outcomes: Megan Schutt to return after time away for birth of daughter Rylee

Aussie selectors have been put on notice with Aussie spearhead Megan Schutt back in action this round of the WBBL.

Schutt, who sat out the recent series against India, is back in the Strikers squad after two months of personal leave that allowed her to spend time with her premature baby daughter, born at 28 weeks.

The return of Schutt is timely warm-up ahead of January’s Ashes series.

And Schutt’s return from family leave could not come at a better time for the Adelaide Strikers ahead of a tough double header in Perth that could define their season.

The Strikers are locked with five WBBL teams on two wins for the season but confront arguably the toughest task of all over the super T20 weekend facing Perth Scorchers at home on Saturday then the equal ladder leaders Melbourne Renegades on Sunday.

A pair of wins this weekend would set the Strikers up as one of the teams to beat this season while losses would suddenly put their entire campaign under pressure such is the congested nature of this year’s competition.

Every franchise will play two games in two days this weekend so for the Strikers to get Schutt, the world No. 4 ranked T20 bowler, back into their bowling attack for the first time this season is a huge bonus.


Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath said the team was excited to welcome back their 28-year-old level-headed, clutch bowler.

“She is going to be an awesome inclusion,” McGrath said.

“We’ll welcome her back with open arms, and hopefully we’ll see her on the park on Saturday. She’s the ultimate professional.

Schutt is back after taking eight weeks out of the game to care for her premature daughter, Rylee.

Rylee was born in Adelaide via an emergency Caesarian in August, three months early at 28 weeks, weighing only 858g.

Schutt missed the Australian multi-format series against India and then pulled out of the opening rounds of the WBBL in Hobart to be at home with her child and wife, Jess.

But with Rylee now thriving and home from hospital, Schutt is ready to return to top-level cricket.

“I’ve been super clear with coaching staff the whole time and they are obviously very supportive of me and my situation and they know that it’s unique,” she said.

Australian bower Megan Schutt and wife Jess welcomed baby Rylee in August. Megan Schutt Instagram
Camera IconAustralian bower Megan Schutt and wife Jess welcomed baby Rylee in August. Megan Schutt Instagram Credit: Supplied

Schutt has been keeping up her cricket skills by playing club cricket for Sturt, but hasn’t played a top-level game since donning the green and gold against New Zealand in April.

However, McGrath said the lack of match fitness wouldn’t bother the Strikers’ opening bowler.

“She’s been telling me about all the personal bests she’s been getting in the gym, so she’s ready to go,” McGrath said.

“We know what we are going to get from Shooter, she’s one of the best in the world for a reason.”

With Schutt currently ranked the world’s No. 4 T20 bowler by the ICC, she’ll walk into the side, which creates something of a dilemma for the Strikers’ selectors, considering their quicks Sarah Coyte (eight wickets in WBBL07), Darcie Brown (who last match became the first Striker to claim a hat-trick) and McGrath have all been on point, and leg-spinners Amanda-Jade Wellington (five wickets), and new inclusion Dane van Niekerk are world-class.

It seems likely Jemma Barsby – despite having an exceptional quirk as an ambidextrous spinner – will make way for Schutt.

McGrath said the depth of the Strikers’ squad augured well for the tournament, which will reach its halfway point next week.

“That’s a really good problem to have, when you have so much competition for spots,” she said.

“If Shooter comes back in, whoever misses out is going to be extremely unlucky, but that’s what happens in good sides.”

The Strikers/Scorchers clash will be just one of eight WBBL games to be played this weekend, with the Sixers and Renegades also facing each other in Perth on Saturday before switching opponents for another WA double-header on Sunday.

Meanwhile the Thunders, Stars, Heat and Hurricanes will play double-headers in Launceston on Saturday and Sunday.

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