On Saturday night something funny happened. Not ‘ha ha funny’ but a kind of odd funny.
I was on my way to one of the most beautiful grounds in the world, the Sydney Cricket Ground, to watch the Sydney Thunder take on the Sydney Sixers. Our last game of the regular season. The game was crucial. After 4 straight losses to begin 2016, to have any chance of playing in the finals, this was a must win game for the Sydney Thunder. I was hoping that our regular season would end in the same way that it started – with a win over our arch rivals the Sixers.
As I was cruising in my car, jamming to Taylor Swift, I realised that a familiar feeling was overcoming me. I started to get nervous. The type of nervous that sits in the pit of your stomach and just won’t go away. The type of nervous that makes you feel your belly, hoping that a simple touch will make it disappear. The type of nervous that I feel just before I walk on stage to give a presentation or before I make a hard decision or more commonly… before I watch the Parramatta Eels play.
The reality was, I was nervous before the game. Then I smiled. Because I realised that for me to feel nerves of this kind, something pretty special had happened. Over the course of the Big Bash season I had fallen in love with the Sydney Thunder.
This love, a very sudden love, reminded me of one of my favourite quotes from a book. The book is called ‘Fever Pitch’ and it was written by Nick Hornby about his love of football. To reflect my current situation is it amended as follows “I fell in love with [the Sydney Thunder] as I fell in love with [men]: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.’ Hornby could not have been more correct.
When I embarked on my journey as a Sydney Thunder member this season, I did not think that I would become so emotionally invested with the team. But I have.
I’m not sure whether it’s been the tremendous atmosphere at Spotless Stadium and seeing so many happy smiling faces laughing as they try to do the ‘Zooper Dooper’ dance. Could it be how impressed I have been with the team’s engagement with the community, from the Thunder Nation Cup to the Thunder Bus? Could it be getting to know the characters on the women’s team and seeing how much the Thunder Nation have embraced the very talented squad? Could it be that after every single home game, the players hang around signing autographs for fans? Could it be the entertainment that Andre Russell has provided, the joy in seeing Chris Green develop as a bowler or seeing Mr Cricket smash 6 after 6 after 6? Or more likely, is it a combination of the above?
Whatever the reason, I’ve fallen in love and I now have to face the startling reality that I no longer have an off-season. During the Winter, I will follow my Parramatta Eels and in the Summer, will follow the Sydney Thunder with just as much vigour and passion.
Regardless of what happens in the Finals series, this has been the Sydney Thunder’s best year yet and I know that it is just going to get better from here.
I can’t wait to be part of it, for the remainder of BBL05 and beyond.
Ladies who Legspin xxx