Issy Wong to replace Shabnim Ismail at Sydney Thunder for WBBL07

Issy Wong was at her fiery best. © Getty Images

England pacer Issy Wong will join Sydney Thunder for the seventh edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) as a replacement for the injured Shabnim Ismail, club announced on Tuesday (October 5).

South Africa pacer Ismail has been instrumental in Thunder’s triumph in the sixth edition of WBBL, but was unfortunately ruled out of the current season due to a knee injury. Wong, who is yet to make her international debut but has been part of England’s training squads, impressed everyone with her fiery pace during the inaugural edition of The Hundred where she represented Birmingham Phoenix.

“It was a no-brainer. When you get such an opportunity you can’t say ‘no’ to it,” said an excited Wong about the signing. “This really is a great opportunity for me. I am still very young, and to have this sort of exposure, and in such a respected league as the WBBL, is super-exciting.”

“I am grateful to Sydney Thunder for putting their faith in me and giving me this opportunity.”

The 19-year-old was part of England squad when they travelled to New Zealand early this year after having performed well in competitions like Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL) and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy (RHF Trophy).

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“I play an exciting brand of cricket, I am always looking to take the positive option,” she said.  “I play with passion; I wear my heart on my sleeve when I’m out on the pitch,” Wong added.

“I have found I always play at my best when I’m enjoying my cricket, so I always try to have a smile on my face. I try to enjoy those pressure moments, because it is a privilege to be playing in those situations.”

Sydney Thunder head coach Trevor Griffin expressed his happiness about the signing and said Wong will be an impact player for them in WBBL07.

“Issy is a quick bowler who wants to bowl fast. What I like about her is apart from the fact she wants to bowl fast; she always wants to make an impact on the game,” Griffin said.

“That means she wants the ball, she can bowl at the different phases of the game, whether that’s the power play, the middle phase, or at the death. She can also come into bat and hit a long ball if that’s needed as well.”

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Earlier Thunder signed India’s Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma as the other two overseas stars in place of England’s Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight. The Sydney-based club will start their WBBL07 campaign with their match against Adelaide Strikers on October 16.

Sydney Thunder squad: Rachael Haynes (C), Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Corinne Hall, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Smriti Mandhana, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Deepti Sharma, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson, Issy Wong