Monday, May 27, 2024

Sydney Thunder: Self-expression the key to success in WBBL06

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Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder

WBBL Head Coach Trevor Griffin wants his Thunder squad “to go out and be them” when they play against crosstown rival the Sixers at North Sydney Oval on Sunday

Starting his second season as Sydney Thunder’s WBBL Head Coach Trevor Griffin is adamant the key to his group enjoying success in WBBL|06 is as simple as each player having belief in their own game.

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“Our players have been selected for the skill and the quality that they have, and that’s my message to them . . .  go out and be them,” Griffin said.

“It just about giving them some belief and encouraging them to go out and play their game, and not try and replicate what other people do or be different.”

A Thunder squad, described as a “good blend of youth and experience” by Griffin, begin WBBL|06 against the Sixers on Sunday afternoon followed by the Melbourne Stars, on Monday morning, both at North Sydney Oval.

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Theplayers entered the bio-secure village, at Sydney Olympic Park, this week where all eight teams will be accommodated during WBBL|06.

This year’s line-up is boosted by the recruitment of star English duo Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont and two-time WBBL champion with the Brisbane Heat, pace bowling allrounder Sammy-Jo-Johnson.

South African speedster Shabnim Ismail also returns this season.

All four add valuable experience to a squad which includes 10 players aged 21 or younger.

Off-spinner Lauren Smith joins the Thunder Nation from the Sixers and young gun batter/ leg-spinner Anika Learoyd, signed her first WBBL contract with the Thunder during the off-season.

Teen sensation Phoebe Litchfield and teenage swing bowler Kate Peterson will be unavailable for the first two matches due to HSC exams, while promising allrounder Olivia Porter was heartbreakingly ruled out on the eve of the tournament with a leg injury.

Hard-hitting top-order batter Sam Arnold, off-spinner Isabelle Afaras and pace bowler Gabrielle Sutcliffe have all been confirmed as Local Replacement Players available to the Thunder.

Local Replacement Players will be available under the ‘hub rules’ to play for any other team who may require a replacement.

Griffin joined the Thunder squad on Tuesday after two weeks mandatory hotel quarantine in Adelaide under the Australian Government’s COVID-19 health requirements. He thanked his assistant coaches for the work they had done preparing the group in his absence.

“Mark McInnes and Jono Dean, as assistant coaches, have done a fantastic job getting the girls ready. It was great to see them on Tuesday and all the girls are in a great space.”

The Thunder have enjoyed two trial wins in the lead-up over the Sixers and the Perth Scorchers.

Heading into a WBBL season like no other, living in a bio-secure hub for six weeks, Griffin and his support staff are very aware of the unique challenges and ensuring the players get as much down time as possible is key.

“Otherwise, you get all consumed with cricket within this environment and it’s important the players get switch off time,” said Griffin.

“Within our planning and our scheduling, we’re doing everything we can to encourage the players to switch off from cricket and have some of that autonomy where they can make their own decisions about what they want to do and when they want to do things.”

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, before taking on the Melbourne Stars at the same venue on Monday 26 October.

Squad for Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars: Rachael Haynes (C), Isabelle Afaras, Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Lauren Smith, Gabby Sutcliffe, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson

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.

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