Self-belief key to success in WBBL06, says Sydney Thunder head coach Trevor Griffin

Sydney Thunder face Hobart Hurricanes next. © Getty Images

Sydney Thunder Head Coach Trevor Griffin has said that he wants the players to ‘be themselves’ on the field when they take on crosstown rivals Sydney Sixers in the opening match of the sixth edition of Women’s Big Bash League on Sunday (October 25).

Speaking ahead of the first match, Griffin said, “Our players have been selected for the skill and the quality that they have, and that’s my message to them . . . go out and be them. It just about giving them some belief and encouraging them to go out and play their game, and not try and replicate what other people do or be different.”

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The Thunder has announced a 14-member squad for the first two matches against Sixers and Melbourne Renegades. While Teenage sensations Phoebe Litchfield and Kate Peterson were not included due to their HSC exams, Sam Arnold, Isabelle Afaras and Gabrielle Sutcliffe were announced as the local replacement players for the Thunder on Friday (October 23).

Griffin believes the key for them to succeed in this year’s WBBL is to trust in their skill as an individual. He said that the squad has a good mixture of youth and experience with the signing of international stars Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Shabnim Ismail. 

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Griffin, who joined the squad on Tuesday (October 20) after completing the quarantine period, lauded his support staff for taking care of the preparation in his absence. “Mark McInnes and Jono Dean, as assistant coaches, have done a fantastic job getting the girls ready. It was great to see them on Tuesday, and all the girls are in a great space,” he said.

With the entire WBBL tournament happening in a bio-secure environment, Griffin said that it is crucial for the players to switch-off from the sport periodically. “Otherwise, you get all consumed with cricket within this environment, and it’s important the players get switch-off time,” he said.

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“Within our planning and our scheduling, we’re doing everything we can to encourage the players to switch off from cricket and have some of that autonomy, where they can make their own decisions about what they want to do and when they want to do things.”

 Sydney Thunder squad for first two matches:  Rachael Haynes (C), Isabelle AfarasSam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Lauren Smith, Gabby Sutcliffe, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson. 

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