Crosstown recruit tops off Sixers' WBBL|06 roster
Two-time champions Sydney Sixers are locked and loaded for the sixth edition of the WBBL beginning next month
15 September 2020, 11:40 AM AEST
Lisa Griffith will wear magenta this Rebel WBBL season, crossing to the Sydney Sixers after three seasons with crosstown rivals Sydney Thunder.
The Sixers have now finalised their 15-player roster for WBBL|06, with the recruitment of pace-bowling allrounder Griffith and the re-signing of veteran seamer Sarah Aley completing their list.
Aley, the second highest wicket-taker in the history of the WBBL with 83 scalps, will play her sixth season with the Sixers and will also take on an assistant coaching role.
Admitting it was a tough decision to walk away from the Thunder, Griffith revealed it was the work she had done with Sixers coach Ben Sawyer, who is also an assistant at the NSW Breakers, through the winter that convinced her.
"It would probably come as a bit of a shock to a few people, but I’m really stoked to be on board and really looking forward to what this season will bring," Griffith told cricket.com.au.
"I wanted to keep working with Ben at the Sixers and after speaking with him and Alyssa (Healy) about the brand of cricket the Sixers play, I’m really excited to align with that.
"I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity with the Thunder, I’ve loved the club but I'm just ready for something new.
"It took me quite a bit of time (to make the decision). I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing because of the inter-town rivalry, but I've had to think about what I need with my cricket.
"That attacking style of cricket the Sixers play is what I want to do, and to work with some key senior players there and play alongside them, to help out some younger players in that group and to work with Ben – the allure of all those things (helped me) make the decision because that’s what best for me."
✍️ SIGNING NEWS! Lisa Griffith joins us from crosstown rivals @ThunderBBL, while Sarah Aley is back for another season in magenta 🙌 Details > https://t.co/RSTIRsllZK #smashemsixers pic.twitter.com/R4QIu2OvLQ— Sydney Sixers WBBL (@SixersWBBL) September 14, 2020
Griffith played 29 matches for the Thunder after returning to the elite level of the game ahead of WBBL|03, following a six-year hiatus she spent working on cattle stations throughout Australia’s northern states.
The 28-year-old hopes to show off the improvements she has made through the off-season once the WBBL season – to be played entirely in a Sydney hub – begins on October 25.
"Ben's an excellent coach, he's allowed me to try and bowl fast and run in hard and he's picked up a few key things in my action that will help me bowl better," Griffith continued.
"He's been a positive influence for me and backed my ability. That's been really refreshing for me."
The revamped WBBL|06 schedule has yet to be announced after it was confirmed the entire 59-game season would be held in Sydney, but when it is released there are two matches Griffith will immediately look for: the two Sydney Smashes.
"It's exciting," she said. "I'll be very nervous no doubt, but hopefully I can get on the park.
"The hub is looking pretty interesting this year. It'll be different but I think it’ll be pretty exciting given that it might be the first domestic cricket here in Australia to hit the TVs and hopefully a product a lot of Aussies and beyond will be sitting down to watch."
After missing the finals for the first time in WBBL history last summer, the Sixers have made two changes to what remains a star-studded list for WBBL|06.
Spin-bowling allrounder Angela Reakes from the Melbourne Stars is the other recruit alongside Griffith, while the club has bid farewell to Lauren Smith, who moved to the Thunder, and Alisha Bates.
They boast an enviable crop of pace bowlers, with Griffith joining international stars Ellyse Perry and South African Marizanne Kapp, alongside Aley, left-armer Lauren Cheatle and young guns Stella Campbell and Hayley Silver-Holmes.
Their top six consists of Australian stars Perry, Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner and Erin Burns, followed by South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk and countrywoman Kapp.
The spin stocks are also strong, featuring Gardner and Burns' off-spin, and van Niekerk and Reakes’ leg-spin.
Sydney Sixers: Ellyse Perry (c) (Aus), Ashleigh Gardner (Aus), Alyssa Healy (Aus), Marizanne Kapp (SA), Dane van Niekerk (SA), Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Lisa Griffith, Jodie Hicks, Emma Hughes, Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes