Sydney Thunder has re-signed New Zealand international Rachel Priest ahead of the upcoming Rebel Women’s Big Bash League season.
Priest has over 10 years of international experience playing for the White Ferns, including 86 One-Day Internationals and 68 Twenty-20 Internationals.
Since joining Sydney Thunder in 2017, the wicketkeeper-batter has scored 602 runs across 30 matches and completed 21 dismissals behind the stumps.
An outstanding WBBL|04 campaign saw her awarded the Alex Blackwell Medal, voted by her teammates as the best player of the tournament.
“I was obviously surprised to win the Alex Blackwell Medal. I think for me, I mostly just focus on how the team’s going and obviously it was a really good season but disappointing at the end as well. I’m excited to be back and looking forward to seeing how far we can go this season,” Priest said.
“It’s really exciting to see the competition move to a standalone window. The way the Big Bash has evolved over the years, I think it’s definitely ready for this next step and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Priest recently won England’s Kia Super League with Western Storm, alongside newly appointed Sydney Thunder Head Coach Trevor Griffin.
Priest was impressive throughout the tournament, scoring three half-centuries and finishing with 365 runs at an average of 36.50, the fourth-most runs in the league.
“It was a pretty phenomenal season, to win 10 out of 11 games, you don’t get that often, but it all came together and having Trevor join Thunder now will be amazing for our group,” Priest said.
“Trevor and I work really well together. He’s a really good coach, he doesn’t just worry about the cricket, he worries about the players as people as well which I think is important. I think it’ll be a good challenge for him this season at Thunder, but I think he’s up for it.”
Griffin is excited to continue working with Priest at Sydney Thunder.
“Priesty is an experienced player who knows her game very well. Having said that, she is always keen to continue to learn and develop. We’ve seen her wicketkeeping progress certainly over the past two years,” Griffin said.
“It’s not just what she does on the field, which is explosive and can take a game away from the opposition quite quickly, it’s what she brings off the field.
“Her experience in developing and supporting youngsters with their game is amazing, but also in team meetings she speaks up and she’s very supportive of the team environment and helps build that family feel which is important.”
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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