New ACT Meteors captain Erin Osborne will use the start of the WNCL season to "prove a point" after fearing she had fallen so far off the Australian radar she wouldn't land a Big Bash contract.
Osborne was unveiled as the Meteors skipper on Wednesday and will lead the team into the season next week, with the winning state to pocket $258,000 in prizemoney.
Former Australian spinner Osborne is confident the Meteors can make a charge to their first title after adding South African stars Dan van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp to their squad.
But Osborne, 28, has one eye on the women's Big Bash campaign after finalising a deal to join the Melbourne Stars.
Osborne's Big Bash future was unclear when the Sydney Thunder failed to offer her a new contract because she was still classified as an international player, despite not playing for Australia since last year.
"I'm really looking forward to a change of scenery and coaching staff [at the Stars]," Osborne said.
"It was quite stressful for a while. I was thinking I had fallen from graze a little bit. I've played international cricket and [all of a sudden] I was struggling to pick up a T20 Big Bash contract.
"But it was nice that the Melbourne Stars offered the contract and I'm looking forward to playing with them.
"It's definitely a motivational factor for me, just getting out and showcasing my ability with bat and ball this year.
"Especially playing against Victoria [in the first WNCL] game, I want to prove a point and score a few runs to get up the order for the Stars."
The Meteors will start their 50-over season against Victoria in a Friday-night clash at Manuka Oval next week.
They will back up against Queensland on Sunday before the competition is paused for the women's Ashes and resumes on November 26.
Osborne has taken more than 100 wickets in one-day and Twenty20 internationals, as well as being a former Big Bash champion with Sydney, but is fighting to earn back a spot in the Australian side.
She says a chance to replace inaugural Meteors captain Kris Britt will help her relax on the field.
"There a lots of things to learn ... Britty did an exceptional job so I'm picking her brain constantly," Osborne said.
"[But I think the captaincy] has relaxed me as a player. In some ways it has taken pressure off my game and the focus off myself.
"I'm more concerned about doing a good job for the other girls and doing everything I can to help them succeed.
"We're a pretty young and inexperienced line-up, but that's exciting. I know I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from some world-class players.
"As a group our expectations are high. We're looking to play finals this year and if we don't make it, it will be a disappointing year."
Cricket ACT signed a new three-year contract with Kookaburras a sponsor on Wednesday, and officials hope the game's new high-performance home at Phillip will be finished in November.
WNCL ROUND ONE
October 6: ACT Meteors v Victoria Spirit at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.
October 8: ACT Meteors v Queensland Fire at Manuka Oval, 10am.