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Ashes rivals to become allies in WBBL

Cricket

Recent Ashes rivals will become allies and Australian teammates will be adversaries when WBBL03 gets under way this weekend.

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The eight-team T20 tournament has attracted plenty of positive attention in its first two seasons and is generally considered the world’s premier domestic women’s cricket competition.

Australia’s leading talent will be joined by many of the top players from the world’s other leading nations.

Little more than two weeks after the women’s Ashes were decided, several England players will line up alongside their erstwhile Australian opponents.

“It’s’ great to play against them but it’s also great to learn from them,” said England allrounder Georgia Elwiss, who will play for Melbourne Stars.

“To be able to play in the same team as them and see how they train and go about their business.

“And I think the way that you can share information and share tips over these sorts of competitions are brilliant and it’s just good for the women’s game.”

Elwiss captained Australian stars Ellyse Perry, Elyse Villani and Kristen Beams during England’s much shorter Women’s Cricket Super League just a few months back.

Instead of trying to dismiss key England batter Tammy Beaumont, Australia’s Ashes bowling star Megan Schutt will be urging her to pile on the runs for the Adelaide Strikers.

Schutt said it was “refreshing” to be playing alongside someone who was so recently an opponent in such a significant and hotly contested series.

“I really like Tammy and she’s a good teammate of mine,” she said.

“But trying to be against them for the last six weeks is tough when you know you’re so fierce on the field, but you’re friends off the field.

“To have her in the same colours as me is a relief and it’s nice to have her on our side.”

The Australian side who retained the Ashes will now be trying to get the better of each other.

“I think we love playing against one another,” Sydney Sixers captain Perry said.

“You’re putting yourself up against your teammates and it makes for really fun competition.

“We know each other so well so its a great challenge to try and outdo one another.”

Perry’s side is favoured to make a successful title defence with Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat also expected to perform well.

The competition will deliver 59 matches across 57 days at more than 20 venues.

-AAP 

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