Greater Northern Raiders' run-scoring machine Emma Manix-Geeves has been rewarded for her stellar 2020-21 season as one of four inclusions to the Tasmanian Tigers contract list.
Scoring 597 runs at an average of 59.7 and winning the Kim Fazackerley Medal for player of the season, Manix-Geeves joins mainland acquisitions Elyse Villani, Molly Strano and Hayley Silver-Holmes as fresh faces.
Manix-Geeves' opportunity to re-join the Tigers' squad, which she was contracted to for two seasons prior to her delisting last year, came about as Tasmanian cricket veteran Emma Thompson announced her pregnancy to the group last season.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Tigers head coach Salliann Beams was pleased to welcome Manix-Geeves back onto the contracted list.
"Emma was pretty clear on what I needed to see from her last year having not had a contract," Beams said.
"Even though she's not been contracted, she spent a bit of time with us in that 12 months last year, so we were always keeping an eye on those Tasmanians but you've got to play at the right level.
"She had some great contributions at club level and we still think that she's got high potential and she's got great aspirations as well so we are looking forward to supporting that."
Villani, who was named player of the 2020-21 WNCL season after scoring three centuries and two 50s, has inked a two-year deal with the Tigers after Tasmania fell marginally short of making the final.
Representing Australia on 99 occasions, Villani comes to the Tigers from Victoria, alongside T20 world cup winner Strano, whose right-arm off-spin has been a staple of the Victorian side, while young fast bowler Silver-Homes joins the squad from NSW having played Australian under-19s.
After getting the high-calibre recruits into the set-up, Beams is incredibly excited by the side's prospects going forward but admits there is pressure.
"When you've spent three years trying to get the team and the balance that you want, there's definitely added pressure," Beams said.
"On paper, we look bloody good, but it's only on paper, we need to go out there and perform well against good cricketers and good teams.
"We knew we needed someone really experienced at the top, we needed a front-line spinner to help mentor our younger spinners coming through and we needed another seamer - it was as simple as that."
Previously contracted players Samantha Bates (Victoria), Brooke Hepburn (retired) and Meg Phillips (delisted) were the omissions from the 2021-22 contract list.
Chloe Abel, Nicola Carey (CA contracted player), Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham, Corinne Hall, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Amy Smith, Emily Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Emma Thompson (maternity leave 2021-22), Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani.
- MORE TO COME