Sydney Thunder’s latest recruit for its Weber WBBL|07 campaign, Jessica Davidson, is as comfortable playing classical music on her violin, as she is terrorising batters with her right-arm pace bowling.
The 18-year-old, who’ll sit for her Higher School Certificate while travelling as a member of the T20 tournament’s defending champions, packed her treasured violin so she could complete her musical exam online.
“It’s a good interest,” said Davidson, who studies at Tamworth’s Conservatorium. “While I do like classical music, I also enjoy playing contemporary pieces.
“I play in concerts, including an event called Showcase, where all the musicians get together and perform. It’s really exciting, and I enjoy it.”
While she’s starred in national age championships, Davidson made scouts leap to attention when, as a 14-year-old, she captured 1-5 off five overs in the Tamworth senior men’s competition.
“I like bowling fast, it’s a different focus to music,” said the talented teen, who is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Basil Sellers scholarship.
“If I am given my chance, I’d like to think Sydney Thunder supporters will see that I bowl to good areas.”
With her aggressive bowling, and the ability to hit the ball long and hard while batting, it’s unsurprising to learn Davidson is a huge fan of New Zealand’s champion all-rounder, Sophie Devine.
“She’s a really exciting player, and has always been someone who I’ve always enjoy watching play,” said Davidson.
Sydney Thunder’s assistant coach Mark McInnes said Davidson was earmarked by scouts as a ‘talent’ when she was selected to join the pathways as a 14-year-old.
“Jess was bowling quite fast even then,” said McInnes. “A lot of us were impressed that she could generate what were decent bouncers at such a young age.
“Added to that was Jess proved she was a hard-hitting middle-order batter. Her talent was obvious, and it’s clear she’s worked hard on her game.”
Head coach Trevor Griffin said Davidson filled an important role in the Thunder line-up that’s striving to defend the title it won last summer.
“Jess provides us with a young up-and-coming quick bowler,” said Griffin. “What stood out to me about Jess is she runs in and bowls with pace.
“I’m excited to welcome her to Thunder Nation, and I look forward to spending time with her and seeing how her career progresses with Thunder.
“I have no doubt she’ll be challenging to get the new ball at some point.”
Thunder begin their WBBL|07 campaign – and title defence – against the Adelaide Strikers on Saturday, October 16 from 7:05pm AEDT, at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
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Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Contracted for WBBL|07: Rachael Haynes (C), Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Jess Davidson, Corinne Hall, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Smriti Mandhana (IND), Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Deepti Sharma (IND), Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson, Issy Wong (ENG)