Olivia Porter’s dream of a Sydney Thunder debut was cruelled by a season-ending injury last summer, but the teenage allrounder is now gearing up for another two years in the lime green after penning a new deal.
Porter suffered a tibial stress reaction in her right leg on the eve of WBBL|06, denying her a chance of taking the field as her teammates claimed the club’s second WBBL title.
"It’s incredible, I’m over the moon," Porter said.
"I’ve supported the Thunder right from the beginning.
"To make my debut this season would be an incredible experience and that’s always been a lifetime goal of mine. Definitely, top of the rank."
After watching the Thunder’s successful campaign from outside the Sydney hub, the 19-year-old fast-bowling allrounder is champing at the bit to be part of their title defence this season.
A fierce Thunder supporter since the inception of the Big Bash, the chance to make a debut this time around is an added incentive for Porter as she begins pre-season training with her 50-over domestic side, the ACT Meteors.
"It was tough watching from afar last season and not being able to be in the hub, but that just highlights where our world is at, at the moment, and we have to be adaptable and resilient," she said.
"(The team’s success) inspired me so much to really work hard this pre-season and I just can’t wait to get in there and see first-hand what a championship side looks like, on and off the field.
"I’m so grateful for this opportunity."
While Porter missed last summer’s Big Bash, she did return from the stress injury in time to make her Women’s National Cricket League debut for the ACT in late January, appearing in six matches throughout their campaign.
NSW Head of Female Cricket Leah Poulton said she was eager to see what Porter could produce this summer after being handed the certainty of a two-year Thunder deal.
"I really felt for Olivia last year," Poulton said. "She’d done all the right things to get herself ready to participate and then had that news.
"She’s a talented allrounder with excellent changes of pace with the ball and someone who can change the game in the field.
"With the bat she plays a really exciting brand of cricket where she’s looking for ways to take the game on and score quickly.
"She’s one of the new breed of T20 players who can have an impact across all areas of the game."
The Thunder have now locked in nine out of 15 players for WBBL|07.
They are yet to reveal who will fill their three overseas slots, and are set to have at least two different faces in their international contingent this season due to England’s limited-overs tour of Pakistan in October, which is likely to prevent Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont from returning.
Captain Rachael Haynes is also off-contract, as are Saskia Horley and Rachel Trenaman.
Current Sydney Thunder squad for WBBL|07: Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson