Speedster Maitlan Brown is the headline signing for the NSW Breakers squad as they set their sights on another WNCL title in 2021/22.
Brown is one of three newcomers to the 17-player Breakers squad, being joined by a pair of 17-year-olds in prodigious leg spinner Jade Allen, and Claire Moore, the leading run scorer in Sydney’s Women’s First Grade competition in the season just passed.
Leaving the Breakers are Lisa Griffith, Maddy Darke and Hayley Silver Holmes.
Experienced mentor Ben Sawyer is Acting Head Coach and will guide the squad alongside Head of Female Cricket, Leah Poulton, while the recruitment process for a permanent Head Coach is undertaken.
Brown was born and raised on the NSW Mid North Coast and played much of her junior cricket in the state before signing a rookie contract with the ACT Meteors for the 2016/17 season. The same season she made her WBBL debut for the Melbourne Renegades.
The 23-year-old has been a member of Cricket Australia’s National Performance Squad for the past few seasons and in 2020 was named in Australia's limited-overs squad for their home series against New Zealand, but has yet to make her Australia debut.
She suffered a snapped hamstring during last summer’s WBBL but has now recovered and believes she is stronger than ever.
“I’m super excited to be back in NSW and playing for the Breakers,” Brown said.
“It was bad timing with snapping my hamstring last season but rehab has gone well and I am chomping at the bit really to be able to play again.
“I actually feel stronger and more athletic now than I did before the injury and just can't wait to get out there again.”
Poulton could not hide her excitement at Brown’s decision to head back home to NSW.
“Maitlan is a product of the NSW pathway and we are thrilled to have her back with us,” Poulton said.
“She is a quality fast bowler and an excellent all-round athlete. She’s also a fantastic team person who will add a great deal to our environment.”
Poulton said she was also eagerly awaiting the opportunity for Allen and Moore to join the Breakers squad.
Allen, from Cobargo on the NSW South Coast, and Moore from Richmond, are both finishing their HSC this year and will fit training in around their school commitments before joining the Breakers program full time later in the year.
“Jade Allen and Claire Moore have been standouts in our pathway programs and thoroughly deserve their opportunity to step into an elite program,” Poulton said.
“Jade is a skilful young leg-spinner from the South Coast who will add variety to our attack, while Claire was the leading run scorer in Women’s First Grade this season.
“We place significant value on Premier Cricket and this selection is great reward for Claire after a dominant season.”
Poulton also thanked the three departing players for their efforts over the last few seasons.
“Lisa, Maddy and Hayley will not be returning to the Breakers program this coming season,” Poulton said.
“All three have made a fantastic contribution during their time with us and we wish them well for the next chapter of their careers.”
The squad will return to pre-season training in June.
NSW Breakers squad 2021/22
Alyssa Healy ( c )
* Indicates new Breakers squad member