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WBBL: Beth Mooney quits Brisbane Heat to fill Meg Lanning's shoes at Perth Scorchers

Beth Mooney's 78 not out at the MCG was the highest score in a Women's T20 World Cup final Getty Images

Beth Mooney has left the WBBL title-holders Brisbane Heat to take up a two-year deal with the Perth Scorchers on the other side of the continent, filling the top-order hole left by Australia captain Meg Lanning after she chose to return to the Melbourne Stars.

As one half of Australia's formidable Twenty20 opening combination with Alyssa Healy and the world's top-ranked T20I batter, Mooney, 26, has been an integral part of the Heat side that took out each of the past two titles, against the Sydney Sixers in 2018-19 and at home against Adelaide Strikers last summer. Having been with Heat through all past five seasons of the tournament, she was the Player of the Final in the last two editions, a feat she took a notch higher by claiming the Player-of-the-Tournament award at the T20 World Cup at home earlier this year.

"I'm really happy with my decision to join the Scorchers for the next few seasons. I have heard great things about the people and culture at the WACA and I love the way Perth has gone about their cricket over the years," Mooney said.

"The move to the West is a really exciting opportunity for me to work with Christina Matthews [the WACA CEO] and Shelley [Nitschke, the Scorchers head coach], two very highly regarded women and leaders of our great game, and reunite with Nicole Bolton and Heather Graham who have both been part of the Australian set-up.

"I can't wait to be a part of the team, and continue to learn and evolve as a player. I know that they are building for success and I'm looking forward to being part of that and bringing my knowledge and experience to the side."

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Nitschke was understandably happy to have secured Mooney's services, off the back of an outstanding run of scores - 81 not-out, 60, 28 and 78 not-out in the final at the MCG - as Australia surged to win the T20 World Cup on home soil, only a few days before Covid-19 threw the game into chaos.

"Beth is one of the best T20 batters in the world at the moment and has experienced great success at both the domestic and international levels," Nitschcke said. "Her T20 statistics over the past 12 months are phenomenal, but what is really impressive is her ability to deliver on the big stage and under pressure.

"That sort of character in the team can be inspirational. Beth also has great cricket awareness and I am sure she'll be able to pass on some of her knowledge and thoughts on the game to the playing group."