Sydney Thunder will return to Howell Oval in Penrith on 16 December when they face the Melbourne Stars in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.
Thunder played the very first WBBL game at Howell Oval and faced the Adelaide Strikers there last year. This season will see batter Naomi Stalenberg return to the club, after signing a one-year contract extension while 25-year old Lisa Griffiths has joined following her return to cricket last year.
Stalenberg, 23 has played every game of Thunder’s first two seasons, making her debut for Australia in January 2016 against India.
“I find Howell Oval a really nice ground to play at,” said Stalenberg who plays her NSW Women’s Premier cricket for Penrith.
“Taking it back to where we beat the Sixers in WBBL|01 makes it a pretty special place as that’s where it all started, it’s great that we can continue playing there.
“We’ve got an experienced side, it’s important for me to learn off them as well as the senior players and internationals so I can become a senior player myself.”
Naomi will be joined in the squad by Penrith and NSW teammate Lisa Griffiths who has also signed a one-year contract.
“I’ve kept an eye on the Big Bash,” said Lisa Griffiths.
“But I knew I couldn’t come back and play at fifty percent, if I was going to come back, I had to play it well and play hard.
“Naomi is one of my best friends, we’ve known each other for a long time and I’m lookin forward to getting back on the park with her. I’m also looking forward to playing with Alex Blackwell, she’s a cricketer I really look up to on and off the field.”
In addition to the WBBL|03 game, Howell Oval will also host a Super Clinic with members of the club’s BBL and WBBL squads on hand for a junior coaching clinic on 18 January 2017.
The game will be free admission, with Penrith Mayor John Thain a keen supporter of women’s sport.
“Council is a strong supporter of women’s sport and in particular cricket, with our collaboration with Sydney Thunder now in its third year,” said Penrith Mayor John Thain.
“This event recognises the achievements of female players and has become an annual celebration of women’s sport in Penrith.”
Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon believes Penrith is an important part of the Thunder region and is pleased to be able to take elite cricket there this summer.
"The Penrith Council has shown great support for womens cricket and the Thunder club and I’m very pleased this will continue," said Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon.
"The region boasts large numbers of participants in our sport and has developed many outstanding cricketers. This makes Penrith an integral part of our Thunder Nation.
"Families and fans attending the match on December 16 will have a great day out while watching the best cricketers in the world."
The Super Clinic will provide a wonderful opportunity for our players from both the Mens and Womens teams to meet their fans who support them throughout the season and provide some great tips for girls and boys.
Sydney Thunder open their WBBL|03 campaign against the Melbourne Renegades on 9 December at North Sydney Oval.