“I’m really looking forward to being onboard again for the next two seasons,” Wilson said. "Especially with all the young talent coming through and a few experienced heads in there as well."
Having spent her first two seasons with Thunder in the shadow of former New Zealand 'keeper Rachel Priest, Wilson was handed the gloves full time in 2020. She wasn't called upon too often with the bat in the lower middle-order, scoring 68 runs in six innings at a strike rate of close to 110, but her glovework through the tournament was a real standout. The youngster accounted for seven dismissals across the tournament, including four impressive stumpings - a couple of which came off the new ball off the bowling of left-arm spinner Samantha Bates.
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A top-order batter for New South Wales, Wilson admitted that the new role for her WBBL team has helped take her game to the next level.
“During that first season I was obviously seen more as a batter, and to be able to get that exposure out on the field was really good, but the second year for me was where I took some leaps and bounds,” Wilson said. “I think that really took my keeping to another level. Captain Rachael Haynes gave me some more responsibility (in terms of helping with field placements) and that really helped me develop my cricket knowledge behind the stumps.”
Part of the New South Wales set up since 2017, Wilson made her Women's National Cricket League debut in 2018. She had a disappointing 2020-21 WNCL season, but ended on a high, scoring a valiant 57 against eventual champions Queensland.
Leah Poulton, NSW Head of Elite Female Cricket, who also coached Wilson at Australia Under-19 level said she has been most impressed with the wicket-keeper's work ethic.
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“Tahlia came through Pathway cricket as a top order bat who could keep if required, then in the last two or three years just through sheer determination and hard work, she’s really carved out a role for herself as a genuine keeper bat,” Poulton said.
“It’s not just the fact that she’s improved, it’s the work ethic she’s shown and the way she’s gone about her training that’s impressed everyone at the club, they’re the sort of players that you want to invest in for the long-term. It’s a really big signing for us.”
Contracted players: Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson.