“We couldn’t be happier to have engaged Lisa and Alex to manage the playing lists at Cricket NSW’s BBL clubs,” said Greg Mail, head of cricket Cricket New South Wales. "Their cricket pedigrees are obviously outstanding and they are both exceptional people who will bring decades of knowledge and experience to the role. The fact they both watch more cricket than most with their commentary roles and have had the chance to see plenty of talent from around Australia and across the world is a big positive," he said.
Sthalekar represented Australia in 54 T20Is and has been part of Australia's T20 World Cup triumphs in 2010 and 2012 while Blackwell played 95 matches in the format including hat-trick triumphs in the T20 World Cup in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Blackwell captained Thunder when they won the inaugural edition of WBBL and Sthalekar was part of the Sixers side that lifted the trophy in WBBL02.
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Sydney Thunder’s title defense in the seventh season will begin without the English duo of Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont because of their national commitments. The club has to fill the positions of at least two new internationals to replace English internationals.
"I think I fit the role pretty nicely. It is something I stay across anyway because of the wonderful opportunities I get to commentate on cricket," Blackwell said. "I also keep an eye on all domestic cricket and internationally through my role with FairBreak where I am helping put together all six teams for the FairBreak Invitational – a first of its kind global invitation tournament next year in Hong Kong."
Sydney Sixers have parted ways with the South African duo of Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk and were in talks to sign India opener and number one ranked T20I batter Shafali Verma. The contracting embargo is yet to be lifted and it remains to be seen which overseas players these two NSW sides will sign ahead of the tournament that's scheduled to start in October.
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"I’ve been lucky enough to commentate on cricket and lots of T20 cricket around the world with various tournaments and with that, I have been fortunate to see lots of players both here and overseas. I feel like I’m in a good position to assist both the Sixers WBBL and BBL teams to ensure that we have the right personnel within the squad to allow them to chase more titles and keep lifting the bar in both tournaments," Sthalekar said.