Arnold, captain of Penrith, was the second highest run-getter in the Combined First and Second grade T20 competition last season. She collected 287 runs at a staggering strike rate close to 200.
She joins a Thunder team that is sitting pretty at second place having registered three wins in four games, including two close wins against Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars last week. They come up against Hobart Hurricanes next— a team that now has three former Thunder players, namely, Nicola Carey, Belinda Vakarewa and Maisy Gibson— who made the move after last season.
"It adds a little bit of spice to the contests, and I dare say the three girls will be looking forward to playing against us and showing how, perhaps, they've progressed," Trevor Griffin, Thunder head coach, said of the contest. "But we're wanting to go to Tasmania and silence them.”
"It's more about us. I'm focused on what we do rather than get hung up on the others.”
Aside from the competition amongst the players, Griffin himself will come up against two players whom he coached earlier this year at Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League in England— Fran Wilson and Heather Knight.
"Fran Wilson and Heather Knight are experienced internationals who have a serious quality about their game," said Griffin of the English pair.
"The Hurricanes started off their campaign well but had two losses on the weekend, so we know they're going to want to get back to their winning ways. They're going to be tough games, but we're certainly up for it. We're in a great place at the moment.”
Rachel Trenaman, the 18-year-old batter, continues to miss out, having been given leave to focus on her Year 12 exams. Lisa Griffith, the fast bowler, has been rested.
Thunder will play Hurricanes on Saturday (November 2) at West Park in Burniw, and follow it up with another game against the same opposition at the same venue on Sunday (November 3).
Squad: Rachael Haynes (c), Samantha Arnold, Samantha Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Phoebe Litchfield, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Tahlia Wilson