Adelaide Strikers to take a knee through WBBL06 after Stafanie Taylor’s request

Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes form a barefoot circle. © Getty Images

Ahead of the start of the match between Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes, the players took a knee in order to honour the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Before the clash between Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat, the players formed a barefoot circle to reaffirm their commitment to reconciliation. Sydney Thunder even committed to taking a knee throughout the sixth edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

On the eve of the opening day of the competition, the eight captains along with five Indigenous players in Ashleigh Gardner, Mikayla Hinkley, Anika Learoyd, Hannah Darlington and Ella Hayward as well as Melbourne Stars’ Elyse Villani and Georgia Wyllie from Scorchers formed a circle at the Sydney Showground and acknowledged the traditional owners of the land apart from connecting to country.

“It was a show of respect and brilliant to get everyone together and throw around some different ideas and how we could best celebrate our first nations people,” said Corinne Hall, captain of Hurricanes, after their match on Sunday (October 25) about the gestures.

“I think Ash Gardner’s taken a pretty strong lead and she’s been brilliant at further educating us on the Indigenous history. We want to further educate ourselves. If actions don’t happen people don’t talk about it.”

Megan Schutt, leading Strikers for the first two matches at least, in the absence of Suzie Bates, said that they would continue to take a knee throughout the competition, something their West Indies import Stafanie Taylor requested.

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“We had some conversations as captains there,” said the Aussie speedster.

“Along with Hayley (Matthews) and Staf, we wanted to support them by taking a knee and continuing the conversation and awareness around the BLM movement.”

“That (taking a knee in every match) is our plan, we’ll take each game as it comes. But at the moment Staf’s asked us if we can do that and we’re going to show some solidarity.”

On the field, though, it was one-way traffic as Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten 51 helped the Strikers start WBBL06 on a winning note at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney. Just as she’d wowed audiences worldwide with her cover drives during the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, she continued driving the ball majestically.

The South African’s back-to-back strokes off Belinda Vakarewa deserve special mention – she creamed one through covers before just timing the ball past the non-striker on the next.

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“She’s been awesome,” said Schutt, lavishing praise on Wolvaardt.

“We saw her whacking around in the nets, built up on her confidence in the indoor nets for sure. She’s a lovely person and continues to show the growth of her T20 cricket on the field.”

Hall, on the other hand, lamented the lack of application on the Hurricanes batters’ part, resulting in them getting bowled out for a mere 84.

“I don’t think we adjusted well to the pitch conditions,” she said. “The ball was skidding a bit and there was some movement in the air early on. We expected that but it was a little more than we thought and we didn’t adapt well.”

The Hurricanes don’t have much time to regroup as they face the Scorchers on Monday (Oct 26).

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