With a host of Aussie superstars and rising young talent complemented by some strong draft choices, the Sydney Sixers appear well placed for a charge at the WBBL|09 crown
WBBL preview: Sixers seeking to 'go one better'
Last season: Runners-up. 11-2 win-loss (1 no result). Defeated in the final by Adelaide Strikers
WBBL|09 draft picks: Chloe Tryon (South Africa, pick 7), Jess Kerr (New Zealand, pick 25)
Direct nomination: Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
Coach: Charlotte Edwards
Squad: Jade Allen, Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Mathilda Carmichael, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Emma Hughes, Jess Kerr (New Zealand), Kate Pelle, Ellyse Perry, Kate Peterson, Gabby Sutcliffe, Chloe Tryon (South Africa)
In: Jess Kerr (draft pick, previously Heat), Chloe Tryon (draft pick, previously Thunder), Mathilda Carmichael (Scorchers), Gabby Sutcliffe
Out: Nicole Bolton (retired), Ange Reakes (retired), Sophie Ecclestone, Stella Campbell (Scorchers), Angela Genford
Possible best XI: Alyssa Healy (wk), Suzie Bates, Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry (c), Erin Burns, Chloe Tryon, Maitlan Brown, Jess Kerr, Jade Allen, Lauren Cheatle, Kate Peterson
Player availability: Neither South Africa nor New Zealand have clashing international commitments so the Sixers should have the trio available throughout the regular season, however the White Ferns begin a home series against Pakistan on December 3, the day after the WBBL final. Ellyse Perry will miss the first game after being suspended for over-rate offences following last season's final.
Inside word with coach Charlotte Edwards
Driven by getting so close last year: "It was an unbelievable summer for us last year, considering where the team had been probably the two seasons previous. I was just really proud the way the group played their cricket, they enjoyed their cricket.
"Bar 10 overs of the final, we were my opinion the best team in the comp but that doesn't mean that you win the title and that's T20 cricket for you.
"I just hope we play with the same energy we played with last year and passion, and we just come out and have lots of fun.
"We've got world class players in our team, but also with some really exciting young talent. So hopefully we can go one better this year."
How did Ecclestone's injury impact the draft strategy: The Sixers were all set to retain the world's best T20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone in the draft, but the England spinner was ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury, prompting a change in approach.
"It's hard to replace someone like Sophie because she bowls in all phases of the game, she bowled a lot in the Powerplay and surge for us, so we had to look at those options.
"You want cover in in the Powerplay and Jess Kerr was a good option there with her stats in that phase of the game.
"We wanted that left-arm spin option and with losing Nicole Bolton, we were lacking a number six as well so Chloe Tryon fits with that. Having worked with her in Mumbai and in The Hundred, it's always nice to know someone who is coming in and know that they'll fit into the group as well.
"And we've only heard great things said about Jess as well, obviously Suzie's played with her a lot. We're really happy with our squad, we're quite experienced as well, which is always nice."
Young players to watch: "We were really happy with how our young bowlers went last year in Lauren Cheatle and Kate Peterson, I thought they had an outstanding WBBL. So hopefully more of the same for those two.
"In terms of a young batter, Kate Pelle is someone we've got high hopes for – I don't know how much she'll play but we're very excited about having her on our list with the future in mind.
"It's a nice group, there's a lot of experience but there's also some real young players and I think adding Mathilda Carmichael to our team as well has given us a bit more experience in our lower to middle order."
Team to beat: "There's been some great signings across the across the board, obviously Renegades with Hayley Matthews, she's in top class form.
"It's always a really competitive tournament. That's one thing that whenever I come here, you go to each game and you never quite know who's going to win because there's such great talent on each team.
"Brisbane Heat have always been a team that have performed well in this comp as have Scorchers, and I think Thunder have really drafted well in terms of their signings, so I expect it to be as competitive as ever."
WBBL|09 Team Guides
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