Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sydney Thunder name three Local Replacement Players

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Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder

Sam Arnold, Gabby Sutcliffe and Izzy Afaras join WBBL Village as Local Replacement Players

Sydney Thunder has recruited three cricketers rich in potential as its Local Replacement Players ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

Penrith’s hard-hitting top-order batter Sam Arnold, Gabby Sutcliffe from Corowa on the NSW-Victoria border, and Isabelle Afaras from Northern Districts will join the likes of Thunder’s superstars Rachael Haynes, Heather Knight, Shabnim Ismail and Tammy Beaumont.

The biosecurity measures in place at the WBBL Village in Sydney Olympic Park prevent clubs from being able to bring in Local Replacement Players at a moment’s notice.

To ensure the competition has coverage in the event of injuries, or if players need to leave the hub mid-season for any other reason, an additional 20 players are living and training in the WBBL Village alongside the eight teams.

Arnold has been a part of Sydney Thunder before. Last year she travelled to Tasmania with the squad as Kate Peterson’s replacement after Peterson injured herself while playing in the NSW Women’s Premier Cricket competition.

Thunder coach Trevor Griffin said Arnold made such a positive impression during her time with the team he didn’t hesitate to recall her.

“Sam had experience with us at Thunder last year, coming in as a replacement player,” said Griffin, as he ticked off final preparations for this Sunday’s opening match against the Sixers at North Sydney Oval.

“She showed her commitment and her athleticism in the group. ‘Liv’s’ unfortunate injury meant we needed to have another look at the squad.

“Sam’s experience from being around the squad last year stood out – and we’re delighted to have her back on board with us this year.”

Arnold, whose impressive sporting CV notes she was selected to represent Australia in Indoor Cricket, Futsal and OzTag, was thrilled to have another chance – as a Local Replacement Player – to immerse herself in Thunder’s culture.

“It’s exciting, but at the same time it is unfortunate that Olivia has suffered an injury, and I really feel for her,” she said. “I am so super excited for the opportunity – it’s come out of the blue – and I’m so keen.”

Sutcliffe is a member of the ACT/NSW Country under-19 squad and trains with the ACT Meteors in Canberra. Coach Griffin said this was an opportunity for her to make an impression.

“Gabby comes to us as a highly-recommended fast bowler, and we’ve already seen in training sessions, and in our practice match against the Scorchers, how athletic she is,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to help her development.”

Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Afaras, from Northern Districts, like Sutcliffe and Arnold, will be available under the ‘hub rules’ to play for any other team who may require a replacement.

“Izzy has had success through the pathways, and is an exciting, young developing off-spinner,” he said. “So, this an opportunity to have her around the Thunder environment and help her development.”

Sydney Thunder is set to open its WBBL|06 season with a blockbuster Sydney Smash against crosstown rivals the Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on 25 October.

Sydney Thunder WBBL|06 Tickets

Sunday 25 October | Vs Sydney Sixers | North Sydney Oval | 1:45PM

Saturday 31 October | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 12:15PM

Sunday 1 November | Vs Brisbane Heat | Sydney Showground Stadium | 10:20AM

Wednesday 4 November | Vs Perth Scorchers | Blacktown International Sportspark | 2:30PM

Wednesday 11 November | Vs Brisbane Heat | Blacktown International Sportspark | 7:05PM

Saturday 14 November | Vs Melbourne Stars | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:05PM

Sunday 15 November | Vs Perth Scorchers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 10:20AM

Wednesday 18 November | Vs Sydney Sixers | Blacktown International Sportspark | 7:05PM

Sydney Thunder Memberships

Members of the Thunder Nation will get free entry to crowd-friendly Thunder WBBL|06 matches.

Memberships start from $40 and offer access to a host of new benefits and exclusive discounts. View all packages here.

For more information or to join the Thunder Nation, please contact our Membership Team on 02 8302 6092.

Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad

Head Coach: Trevor Griffin

Contracted for WBBL|06: Rachael Haynes (C), Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Olivia Porter, Kate Peterson, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson


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