With Sydney Thunder Fan Day now over, you know what this means. There is less than a week till the Thunder BBL team take on their first opponents, the Sydney Sixers, at Spotless Stadium.
Later this week I’ll share my top 10 things that you have to have in your handbag when you come to Sydney Thunder games but before we get to must haves for the handbag, we have to pick where you are going to sit.
T20 will never take off they said. T20 isn’t cricket they said. T20 will mean the death of Test cricket they said.
I think they were wrong. From where I stood today I can honestly say that the future of cricket in Australia has never looked better and for me, this future is something which is a joy to be part of.
For a sport that has grappled with the latest generation of kids turning away from the sport and a reputation of being a sport which was full of white, crusty 40 year old men, the Big Bash League has turned this on its head and we are now beginning to see a change.
Who says no one cares about women’s sport… because the 1000 people at Howell Oval this afternoon who came to see the Sydney Thunder take on the Sydney Sixers in the first ever Sydney derby for the WBBL were certainly there to see some quality cricket. And can I assure you – they weren’t disappointed.
It was a perfect afternoon for cricket in Penrith. The sun was shining. It was a perfect Sydney Summers day – one where you need sunscreen and a hat if you have skin the colour of mine. The slurpee machine had multiple flavours going, children were running around in their Thunder and Sixers jerseys and the fans were waiting for the women to take the field.
The countdown is well and truly on to WBBL01 and BBL05. To celebrate my first season as a member of the Sydney Thunder I’ve decided to create a bucket list. I’m hoping to tick each of these items off by the end of the season and I promise to keep you all up to date on how I go.
I have a confession to make. For me – it’s not all about winning.
When I pick a team to throw my support behind, for me to remain a passionate and engaged fan, I need to be proud of the way my team operates not just on the field, but off the field. This is not negotiable.
Over the years I have said this many times when it comes to my rugby league team – the Parramatta Eels. The Parramatta Eels have on the whole, been a team of genuine nice guys (think Luke Burt, Nathan Hindmarsh and Tim Mannah) and I am proud of the commitment they make to the Parramatta local community off the field.
When I became a Sydney Thunder member this year, I had no idea that I was joining such a group of famous fans. Did you all know that some of the most recognisable people in the world are part of the #ThunderNation? I’m actually feeling a little bit star struck. This wasn’t mentioned in any tweets, any Facebook posts and certainly not in any membership brochures I saw. Had it been mentioned earlier, who knows how much earlier I would have signed up as a member.
There’s only one thing I love more than seeing the Sydney Thunder win on the field and that’s seeing our players shine when they are fulfilling their other representative obligations.
When we talk about our men in green shining in their other caps, the story of this month is definitely that of Usman Khawaja and his performance in the first test between Australia and New Zealand. A performance which can probably be captured in one word – flawless.
This year, as Sydney Thunder members we are going to be part of history – 2015/2016 marks the inaugural year of the Women’s Big Bash League and I could not possibly be more excited.
Reflecting on 2015, the WBBL for me really is the cherry on top on what has been a tremendous year when it comes to women’s sport.
Some of my favourite moments of the year have included:
This week, the Sydney Thunder have launched a new blog called ‘Thunder Nation Life’. It’s a blog written by female cricket fans and I’m super excited about it.
For anyone who knows me, you know that I have a habit of picking favourite players… here’s my first story for Thunder Nation Life about my journey to pick a favourite Thunder player.
Don’t forget to check us out at www.thundernationlife.com , on Facebook at Thunder Nation Life or on Twitter at @thunderlifeblog .