WBBL08: Erin Burns signs for Sixers; Hannah Darlington extends Thunder contract by three years

Hannah Darlington in action. © Women's CricZone

New Sydney Sixers coach Charlotte Edwards has added significant quality to the team’s WBBL08 squad with the signature of World Cup winner Erin Burns on a new two-year deal.

Burns has had a roller coaster 12 months that saw her miss the entire WBBL season last summer, take out the NSW Breakers WNCL Player of the Tournament award and witness the birth of her first child, Jack, with partner Anna.

The 34-year-old all-rounder, regarded by many as the best fielder in women’s cricket, remained in Sydney immediately prior to the Hobart-based quarantine period that precursed last year’s WBBL and then found it impossible to join the Sixers squad, despite a myriad of State border exemption requests all over the country.

Edwards said Burns’ experience and enthusiasm would be a huge boost as they look to bounce back from a last-placed finish in WBBL07.

“I obviously wasn’t around last season but from speaking to some of our senior players, they definitely missed having Erin in the team,” Edwards said.

“Not only is she brilliant in all three facets of T20 cricket, but she is also a great contributor off the field too, whether that’s with the younger players, in a social setting or with our fans.

“She’s a very popular player and someone I see as able to help us consistently perform at our peak.”

Burns said she was looking forward to returning to the Sixers after last year’s enforced absence.

“I can’t wait to get back out there for the Sixers,” Burns said.

“We have such a great group of girls and such awesome fans. Every game is like a party atmosphere and I really did miss that last season.

“It was frustrating but that is behind us now and I am looking forward to working with Lotty (Edwards) and the rest of the team.”

Sydney Sixers WBBL08 Squad
Head Coach: Charlotte Edwards
Contracted for WBBL|08: Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy

Darlington to continue with Thunder

Sydney Thunder have received a boost in their quest for more WBBL titles as Hannah Darlington has inked a three-year extension that will see the talented bowler at the club until at least the end of WBBL11.

The deal continues the Thunder’s commitment to young home-grown talent, with the 20-year-old from Western Sydney having been a fan in the crowd at the team’s first ever WBBL match before signing a rookie contract as a 15-year-old.

Despite her tender years, Darlington has already captained the Thunder and NSW, won a WBBL title, been named the WBBL05 Young Gun and in the Team of the Tournament for WBBL06 and 07.

The proud Kamilaroi woman has also played for Australia in T20 and ODI formats and said she was over the moon to secure her future.

“I was really excited to get offered a long term deal,” Darlington said.

“I think after spending five years at the club now since I was 15, it’s been a while but it’s a real honour to have that hard work pay off and allow me to stay with the club.”

Few players are more passionate about their team and their community as Darlington and she was quick to recognise the many factors that made staying in Lime Green well into the future a no brainer.

“We always speak about the Thunder Nation, our fans, our environment and I guess our home ground out at Blacktown is ten minutes down the road from where I grew up,” she said.

“It’s the team I supported, I was at the first ever game at Howell Oval and these are all the small things that make up the reasons why I love playing for this club.

“The support they’ve given me and everything we’ve been through, whether it was a title win, hubs, travelling – these things kind of stand out but it’s more the off field stuff  and the community aspect that we have to our club.”

Sydney Thunder WBBL08 Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Contracted for WBBL08: Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Phoebe Litchfield, Olivia Porter, Tahlia Wilson