Phoebe Litchfield, the 16-year-old left-hander batter from New South Wales, has signed a two-year contract with Sydney Thunder for the Women’s Big Bash League, the fifth edition of which is beginning on October 18.
Over the last 12 months, Litchfield has risen rapidly through the ranks, scoring her first grade century, earning her maiden contract with NSW— also making her debut in the Women’s National Cricket League— and also being selected for the Australia Under-19 team and Governor General’s XI. Aside from these memorable happenings, the left-hander also topped the batting charts at the Under-18 Female National Championships this January. As part of the Cricket Australia XI, Litchfield scored 348 runs, including a century, at an average of 43.50.
“I’m extremely excited. I’ve been watching the Big Bash hoping to be playing,” Litchfield said. “To be offered a spot in the squad is surreal. It’ll be really good for the development of my cricket. I’m really excited to learn from some of the more experienced players in the team and try to keep getting better.”
“It would be an amazing experience to make my debut. I hope it’s not too far away but I’m not expecting anything this season. It would be a great experience but also a great learning curve at the start of my career.”
Trevor Griffin, head coach of Thunder, said he is excited to see Litchfield continue to develop her skills throughout the season.
“We’re really excited to have Phoebe join Thunder. She’s a really exciting young talent,” Griffin said. “She’s been working really hard over the winter. Her batting is looking very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops with this experience. It’s great to have her on board.”
Litchfield will join squad led by Rachael Haynes, which also contains the likes of Alex Blackwell, Rachel Priest, and Nida Dar.
Thunder will open their campaign against local rivals Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on October 18. They are yet to announce the signing of their final overseas player.
Squad: Rachael Haynes (C), Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Lisa Griffith, Saskia Horley, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson