Ellyse Perry, Suzie Bates could be fit; Lea Tahuhu in doubt for the opening matches of WBBL06

Ellyse Perry, Suzie Bates, Lea Tahuhu in action © Getty Images/ Women's CricZone

Ellyse Perry and Suzie Bates are likely to return to captain their respective sides in the opening matches when the sixth season of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) gets underway on October 25 in the Sydney hub, cricket.com.au reported. The report also says New Zealand pacer, Lea Tahuhu, might not be fit in time and is a doubtful starter for the Melbourne Renegades.

Earlier this week during a media interaction, Sydney Sixers captain Perry said she is targeting her return from the long layoff due to the hamstring injury when Sixers take on Sydney Thunder during the opening day of the competition. Perry was hopeful of being fully fit to take the field as an allrounder.

Ben Sawyer, Sixers head coach, is pleased with the way Perry has been going during the bowling sessions in training and is confident of her coming back stronger and better when the tournament commences.

“She’s going to come back as an allrounder in our team and we’ll look after her at training and things like that, but I expect her to be out there bowling quick,” Sawyer was quoted as saying. “So, in terms of her bowling, I’m extremely confident she’s going to come back probably even better than what she was.”

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New Zealand batter Bates injured her shoulder during the first ODI of the Rose Bowl series against Australia when she dived to stop a Meg Lanning dive at sweeper cover and landed on her right shoulder. She immediately walked off the field and was subsequently ruled out of the series.

Bates, who captains Adelaide Strikers in the league, was cautiously optimistic and is planning her return keeping the first match in mind. She added that she won’t be rushing her recovery and explore the possibility of playing only as a batter for the side.

“I had an MRI straight away and there was a bit of ligament damage, but the rest of the shoulder is in really good condition which is a good sign,” Bates said.

“So , if I can give that ligament time to heal, I should be good to go. It’s a little bit touch and go but the plan is to be able to take part in that first game.”

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New Zealand pacer Lea Tahuhu walked off the field during the second ODI of the series with a lower back and side strain and didn’t feature in the third match. New Zealand head coach Bob Carter, during the media interaction after the match, talked about monitoring her injury and working with the Renegades medical team depending on the nature of the injury.

Renegades head coach Lachlan Stevens is unsure about the nature of the 31-year-old’s injury and whether she will be available for the club at any point of time during the tournament.