Photo Credit: Sydney Thunder
Young gun locked in until the end of WBBL|10
After signing a deal which keeps her at Sydney Thunder until 2025, Anika Learoyd declared her sights were set on building upon the foundation she established during last season’s Weber Women’s Big Bash League.
Learoyd, from the NSW Mid North Coast, described last season’s COVID-impacted campaign as one which provided insights into the realities of playing – and performing – in an elite tournament that has a demanding schedule.
“I learnt the WBBL is a real roller coaster,” said the 20-year-old, who is studying a Bachelor of Animal Science with a major in Wildlife Management. “The WBBL has a packed schedule, with back-to-back matches.
“Players almost need a little bit of ‘amnesia’ to get through it. By that I mean if you haven’t had a great game, you don’t have too much time to prepare for the next one.
“It becomes a matter of being able to forget what you did in the last match – be it good or bad – and to focus on the new task that’s at hand.”
After playing in 11 matches for the Trevor Griffin-coached Thunder during WBBL|07, Learoyd followed a tough training regime throughout the off-season to ensure she’ll enjoy more opportunities.
“I’m very excited to be back at Sydney Thunder,” said Learoyd. “I’d love to see myself pushing into the starting eleven again this year. If that happens, I’ll build on the foundations I set last season and use the experiences I gained to propel myself forward.
“Last year wasn’t an ideal season for us [Thunder plummeted from defending champions to seventh]. However, it was great to see young players have more opportunity and responsibility handed to them.
“And it was also great that the more senior players in the group would gather around and offer advice to the younger players. I found – and without consciously trying to do so – that I learnt lots from the squad’s more experienced players.”
Learoyd, who was home-schooled on an old dairy farm that her father transformed into an unofficial animal sanctuary, celebrated her new deal by studying for her upcoming university exams.
“I’ll have another trimester during the Big Bash,” she said, touching on how some players must sit their university exams during the WBBL. “It’s an evolution unit and about the evolutionary processes of natural selection.”
Coach Trevor Griffin said he looked forward to seeing Learoyd’s game continue to evolve this season.
“I’m delighted Anika is back on board with us, and I’m excited to see where her career goes,” said Griffin. “We all saw what she can do with the bat at the back end of the WBBL.
“Anika gave an insight into her talent against the Hobart Hurricanes. She batted beautifully [to score a stylish 34 from 27 deliveries].”
Sydney Thunder WBBL|08 Home Fixtures
Sydney Thunder WBBL|08 Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Contracted Players: Rachael Haynes (c), Samantha Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Jess Davidson, Corinne Hall, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson
Sydney Thunder BBL|12 Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Contracted Players: Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Rilee Rossouw, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner, David Willey
Sydney Thunder BBL|12 Home Fixtures
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