Sydney Thunder has locked in left-arm spinner Sam Bates for the next two Rebel Women’s Big Bash League seasons.
Bates recently made the move from the ACT to Tasmania for the domestic 2019/20 Women’s National Cricket League season, however will continue to play a key role for Thunder in the WBBL.
“It’s been really beneficial for my cricket. The training is really full on, but I’ve learnt so much in such a short window. It’ll be different playing against the Hurricanes now but also very exciting,” Bates said.
The 26-year-old said her decision came down to the promising future of the club and the opportunity to develop as a player and leader.
“There’s been a lot of changes with a new coach and a lot of new players, so it’ll be really exciting to get to know and play alongside them,” she said.
“This will be my fifth season playing for Thunder so I do feel a responsibility to take the younger girls under my wing and help them through the process of Big Bash because it is such a different experience to what they’re used to and I’m really looking forward to that.”
Bates was part of the Thunder squad that won the inaugural WBBL title and has played 46 matches for the team, taking 38 wickets at an economy rate of 5.90, the most efficient of all Thunder players.
Assistant Coach Dominic Thornely is looking forward to seeing Bates continue to evolve her game over the next two seasons.
“Sam has been a much-improved player in the last few years in WBBL. She has been bowling some very hard overs up front for us and playing a particular role very well,” Thornely said.
“Her left-arm orthodox bowling, and the height and bounce she gets, is a real asset to the group. She’s really significant for us and is one player now that a lot of the opposition teams are starting to focus more on.
“Her consistency has been excellent in the last couple of years, so we’re delighted that she’s put pen to paper for the next two years.”
Sydney Thunder is set to open the first ever standalone WBBL season with a televised blockbuster match against the Sydney Sixers under lights at North Sydney Oval.
Sydney Thunder WBBL|05 Fixture
Friday 18 October | Vs Sydney Sixers | North Sydney Oval | 7.40PM
Sunday 20 October | Vs Brisbane Heat | North Sydney Oval | 2.10PM
Saturday 26 October | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Blacktown International Sportspark | 7.00PM
Sunday 27 October | Vs Melbourne Stars | Bankstown Memorial Oval | 2.00PM
Saturday 2 November | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | West Park Oval | Time TBC
Sunday 3 November | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | West Park Oval | Time TBC
Sunday 10 November | Vs Perth Scorchers | Karen Rolton Oval | 2.00PM (2.30PM AEDT)
Tuesday 12 November | Vs Perth Scorchers | WACA Ground | 5.30PM (8.30PM AEDT)
Friday 15 November | Vs Sydney Sixers | Drummoyne Oval | 7.10PM
Saturday 16 November | Vs Brisbane Heat | Drummoyne Oval | 7.10PM
Wednesday 20 November | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Venue TBC | 2:30PM
Sunday 24 November | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Blundstone Arena | Time TBC
Wednesday 27 November | Vs Melbourne Stars | Venue TBC | 2:30PM
Sunday 1 December | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Junction Oval | 11.40AM