Sydney Thunder.©WBBL

Samantha Bates has committed to Sydney Thunder for another two seasons of the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia. The club made the announcement of the left-arm spinner’s continued availability on Friday (July 12).

“This will be my fifth season playing for Thunder so I do feel a responsibility to take the younger girls under my wing and help them through the process of Big Bash because it is such a different experience to what they’re used to and I’m really looking forward to that,” said Bates.

Bates, who recently moved from Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to Tasmania for the 2019-20 season of the Women’s National Cricket League will continue to be available for Sydney Thunder until the 2020-21 edition of the tournament. She maintained that her decision to stay at the club had much to do with the opportunities to grow as a player and leader.

Bates has been part of the squad since the start of the tournament in 2015 and has played an important role in the team’s campaign through every season. The left-arm spinner has taken 38 wickets in 46 matches across four seasons of the tournament, at an average of 23.26. Her tournament economy rate of 5.90 is the best in the entire team.

“It’s (being part of Sydney Thunder) been really beneficial for my cricket. The training is really full on, but I’ve learnt so much in such a short window. It’ll be different playing against the Hurricanes now but also very exciting,” she added. “There’s been a lot of changes with a new coach and a lot of new players, so it’ll be really exciting to get to know and play alongside them.”

The 26-year-old said her decision came down to the promising future of the club and the opportunity to develop as a player and leader.

“Sam has been a much-improved player in the last few years in WBBL,” said Dominic Thornely, assistant coach of Sydney Thunder. “She has been bowling some very hard overs up front for us and playing a particular role very well. Her left-arm orthodox bowling, and the height and bounce she gets, is a real asset to the group. She’s really significant for us and is one player now that a lot of the opposition teams are starting to focus more on. Her consistency has been excellent in the last couple of years, so we’re delighted that she’s put pen to paper for the next two years.”

Sydney Thunder will begin their campaign in the first ever standalone WBBL against Sydney Sixers at the North Sydney Oval on October 18.

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