Sydney Thunder rope in English duo of Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont for WBBL06
Sydney Thunder have completed their 15-member squad with the signings of England captain Heather Knight and her countrymate Tammy Beaumont for the upcoming edition of the Women’s Big Bash League. The duo joins South African pacer Shabnim Ismail as the three overseas players in the side. Thunder open their campaign against crosstown rivals Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on the opening day of the tournament.
Knight, who led England to the 2017 World Cup victory, has played 55 matches in WBBL for Hobart Hurricanes. The time she was in Tasmania, the right-hander scored 1,353 runs and captured 39 wickets. With her signing, Knight also reunites with head coach Trevor Griffin – both of whom have won two Women’s Cricket Super League titles in England.
“With Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell retiring, one of the things that stood out was the need for some support for Rachael Haynes, and some more senior experience to help our younger players,” Griffin said. “Heather is a true leader. It doesn’t matter what level of cricket she’s playing, the way she prepares is always exactly the same – and that will be great for our younger players to see how the best players in the world operate.”
On the other hand, Beaumont who looked in sublime form against West Indies in the T20Is last month, has played for Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers earlier and is known for her destructive batting in the mix. The 29-year-old bagging the player of the tournament in the 2017 World Cup with 410 runs is a testament the power she brings in with
“Tammy is an aggressive player who wants to score runs and wants to dominate . . . and that’s the way we want to play our cricket,” Griffin said. “They’re both great at connecting with people and sharing their ideas, so I have no doubt that our entire squad will benefit from having Heather and Tammy around.”
“From afar, I could see that Thunder has quite a young squad. But, there’s some really talented youngsters which is really exciting,” Knight, who has scored over 4,000 runs for her country in 187 matches across all formats, said.
“I’m really looking forward to supporting Rachael Haynes – who I respect massively as a player and captain – and also helping those young girls win some games and get into finals. Trevor being coach was a big factor in my decision. He’s a brilliant people person and really knows how to get the best out of me. I’m massively excited to work with him again,” added Knight.
The veteran of 3800 international runs and 163 matches for England, Beaumont is aware of what Thunder expect from her. “It’s a really exciting opportunity for me . . . Trevor’s hoping I can open the batting and be aggressive at the top of the order,” she said. “Last year we saw how many talented young players Thunder has coming through, so it’ll be great to come into the setup and hopefully add a bit of experience.
The squad: Rachael Haynes (C), Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson