Sydney Thunder has re-signed South African international Shabnim Ismail ahead of the upcoming Rebel Women’s Big Bash League season.
The lethal fast bowler will return for her second season at the club after taking 10 wickets at an economy of 5.88 in WBBL|05.
The 31-year-old, who was recently named Cricket South Africa’s Women’s T20 International Cricketer of the Year, said she feels “on top of [her] game right now."
“In the WBBL, you’re playing with a lot of experienced players and against some of the best in the world, so it’s a great challenge,” Ismail said.
“I’m a senior player for my country and in the Thunder squad as well so I try to lead by example. Having played for my country for 12 years, I enjoy passing on some of my experience and knowledge to the youngsters.
“We started last season really strongly and then obviously we slacked a bit, but I think the experience and the way we went about playing our game was really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hopefully we can get some more success this year."
Sydney Thunder Head Coach Trevor Griffin said Ismail’s competitiveness and experience will be of huge benefit to the side.
“Shabnim was outstanding for us last season,” Griffin said.
“She was our most economical bowler and her pace caused a lot of trouble for opposition batters. She was a real competitor in the field too – some of the fielding that she did was just at another level.
“She’s the world’s third-ranked T20 bowler but one thing that I noticed about Shabnim last year is that she still wants to learn and she’s constantly looking at ways to get better.
“With Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell retiring at the end of last season, the experience that Shabnim brings is vitally important to help our younger players develop.”
The WBBL|06 fixture builds on the tremendous success of the inaugural standalone season in 2019-20.
A full 59-game fixture has been scheduled across October and November, with Thunder set to open its season on 17 October against the Scorchers in Perth.
Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Contracted for WBBL|06: Rachael Haynes (C), Sam Bates, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Phoebe Litchfield, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson
Sydney Thunder WBBL|06 Fixtures
Sat 17 Oct | Vs Perth Scorchers | Perth | 5:00PM
Sun 18 Oct | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | Perth | 1:00PM
Sat 24 Oct | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Karen Rolton Oval | 2:30PM
Sun 25 Oct | Vs Brisbane Heat | Karen Rolton Oval | 10:20AM
Wed 18 Oct | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Hurstville Oval | 2:00PM
Sat 31 Oct | Vs Perth Scorchers | North Sydney Oval | 12:15PM
Sun 1 Nov | Vs Melbourne Stars | North Sydney Oval | 10:20AM
Sat 7 Nov | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Blacktown Intl Sportspark | 10:00AM
Sun 8 Nov | Vs Sydney Sixers | North Sydney Oval | 1:45PM
Tues 10 Nov | Vs Melbourne Stars | Blacktown Intl Sportspark | 6:30PM
Sat 14 Nov | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Blacktown Intl Sportspark | 10:00AM
Sun 15 Nov | Vs Sydney Sixers | North Sydney Oval | 1:45PM
Sat 21 Nov | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | Melbourne | 10:00AM
Sun 22 Nov | Vs Brisbane Heat | Melbourne | 10:00AM
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