Sydney Thunder has re-signed promising all-rounder Hannah Darlington and confirmed its partnership with Barnados Australia for the upcoming Rebel Women’s Big Bash League season.
An impressive 12 months has seen Darlington lead Thunder’s Indigenous XI in Tasmania and captain NSW Metro to victory in the Under 18 Female National Championships One-Day Final. She was awarded Player of the Final after scoring a half century and taking 1/24.
The 17-year-old joined Thunder’s playing list in WBBL|02, becoming the first graduate of the Thunder WBBL Academy.
“I’ve enjoyed it so much. Having that experience at such a young age to play in a high level environment has been really amazing,” said Darlington.
“I’ve always looked up to Alex Blackwell, I said that in my first Thunder interview and it still carries through, and Rachael Haynes being the vice-captain of Australia, you can’t get that experience anywhere else.
"They play such a big role in the leadership of our team and they’re always providing advice when needed so I’m just soaking up as much as I can from them.
Darlington, who is currently completing Year 12, is hopeful for a chance to make her Big Bash debut this season.
“As soon as I got the call that I was going to be re-signed, that was the first thing that came to mind, that this year’s the year I want to walk out there,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to debut, but if not, I think just being around the squad is invaluable.”
Darlington visited Barnardos Australia’s Auburn Centre to play cricket activities with children who are experiencing disadvantage.
“The kids here are amazing. What they go through is something that no one ever should, but the facilities here are amazing for these kids who are so full of life,” said Darlington.
“These kids are so full of life and to bring cricket to them and let them experience it, I think they really enjoyed it and so did I. They definitely put a smile on my face.”
Sydney Thunder will work alongside Barnardos Australia throughout WBBL|05 to support their Gifts for Kids Christmas appeal.
Fans will be encouraged to bring toys to each WBBL home match to help provide gifts for children in need across the Thunder Nation.
Funds raised from the HomeWorld 50-50 Charity Raffle will also be directed towards ensuring that those in need can share in the festive season.
“Barnardos Australia is thrilled to partner with Sydney Thunder,” said Sarah Spence, Executive Manager, Engagement, Partnerships and Giving.
“Their support for our Gifts for Kids Christmas appeal later this year, and fundraising efforts across their WBBL home-games this season will help us to better support vulnerable children and families in our local community. Barnardos is proud to be a part of the Thunder Nation.”
Sydney Thunder is set to open the first ever standalone WBBL season with a blockbuster Sydney Smash against crosstown rivals the Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on Friday 18 October.
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