WBBL clubs are facing the prospect of being robbed of the best English players for the competition’s final due to a scheduling conflict.
Most of them will be able to miss the team camp in Oman, but England officials have confirmed to AAP that they will be expected in Mumbai on December 2. That is the same date as the WBBL final.
The AAP has been told that players will be able to remain in Australia until the end of November, meaning they will be available for all matches except the final.
Clubs were aware of the potential scheduling conflict when players were signed. Exemptions have been made in the past for players to stay longer, and it is not out of the question that a similar effort could be made in the coming weeks to get the English players involved in the final.
The loss of Knight in particular would be a blow to the Thunder. The club has been the feel-good story of this summer’s WBBL, going from winning one game last year to losing just one of its first eight this season.
They are now the favorites to automatically qualify to host the final, after being at the top of the standings halfway through.
Knight has been a mainstay of the Thunder’s top order this season by capitalizing on big openings in his openers, scoring 168 runs at an average of 42 and a strike rate of over 140.
Thunder coach Lisa Keightley has strong links with the English set-up, having previously coached the national team.
The Scorchers would also be desperate to keep their English partner if they reach the final. Sciver-Brunt is one of the most dangerous players in the competition and, although she was only signed for part of the season, the 31-year-old is expected to play the rest of the tournament until England come calling.