Erin burns for Sixers comeback after 'frustrating' season
Sydney Sixers allrounder signs new two-year deal and hopes new coach Charlotte Edwards can help take the club back to the top of the WBBL
5 July 2022, 08:16 AM AEST
After being forced to watch on from across closed state borders as the Sydney Sixers missed the finals for a third consecutive Big Bash campaign last summer, Erin Burns is itching to pull on the magenta in WBBL|08.
Burns has signed a new two-year deal with the Sydney club, and her all-round ability will boost the two-time champions as they plot a path back to the top under new coach, Charlotte Edwards.
Last season, the 34-year-old found herself in the unusual position of being sidelined despite being fully fit.
She had missed the start of WBBL|07 in Tasmania to spend time with her then-pregnant wife in Sydney after playing in The Hundred, and had intended to link up with her Sixers teammates several weeks into the season via a period of hard hotel quarantine.
However, all attempts to leave New South Wales were denied, with Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland all refusing her entry, leaving a frustrated Burns stranded in Sydney as the Sixers finished on the bottom of the table.
"It was pretty frustrating," Burns told cricket.com.au.
"It wasn't due to injury or anything ... it was an interesting experience, having to sit back and (the decision being) taken out of your own hands and feeling quite helpless because you want to try and contribute.
"I certainly felt the FOMO (fear of missing out) there, even though obviously, we didn't have the greatest season.
"It's always an honour to be able to represent the Sixers and they're such a great group of girls and a great culture, so I'm really looking forward to being able to join in physically this year."
Burns's creativity and experience with the bat in the middle order combined with her off-spin will be a significant boost for the Sixers, who recorded their poorest campaign to date during a tough WBBL|07 spent entirely on the road.
It was a result that left many scratching their heads given the strength of the Sixers' list, which includes Aussie trio Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner and Ellyse Perry and was their third consecutive season outside the top four.
There has been a change in the coaching ranks for WBBL|08 after Ben Sawyer was appointed head coach of New Zealand's women, and Burns said while she would miss the two-time title-winning mentor, she was looking forward to working with his replacement, England legend Edwards.
"I haven't worked with her before ... (but) I've heard really, really good things and I'm really excited to see how the group comes together under her leadership," Burns said.
The Sixers are likely to field a similarly strong list to recent years, having already confirmed eight players for the upcoming season.
While they have yet to officially confirm Perry's re-signing, they are understood to have agreed to terms on a new deal for the star allrounder, while Healy and Gardner were among those already contracted.
"I don't think the physical skills are lacking (at the club), I think it's probably just trying to find that thing that makes it all click together," Burns said.
"We've seen that when it does click for the Sixers, it's incredible – the firepower we have with both batting and bowling ... I think it's one of the best line-ups not only in domestic cricket but I'd even argue in international cricket.
"Chatting with (Edwards, that's) the thing she is really eager to sink her teeth (into) – she can identify that the skills are there, it's just about trying to figure out the magic mix, and the way the puzzle pieces need to be put together to make it all kind of just gel."
The WBBL|08 schedule will be revealed later this week and Burns is eagerly anticipating a return to a more normal structure plus the chance to play in front of home fans.
"I think we can all put our hands up and just attest to the fact that we're looking forward to a bit of more normalcy," she said. "I'm super excited.
"So fingers crossed there are no bubbles, a normal home-and-away season with regular crowds.
"Even just the crowds and the interaction with fans, particularly for the Sixers, which is a club that prides itself on being able to engage with the community and engage with young fans. It's the cherry on top for us as players to be able to have that support there on the day.
"The (2020) World Cup feels like an eternity ago now, but hopefully we can kind of pick up where we left off in terms of support for female cricket."
Sydney Sixers WBBL|08 squad so far: Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy