The Sixers' WBBL side were triumphant against the Perth Scorchers in the Big Final last weekend, but their goal at the start of the season wasn’t just to win silverware.
Their public motto was "to go one better" in WBBL|02 after a heartbreaking loss in last year's Big Final against the Thunder at the MCG, but behind the scenes one of their main goals was to inspire the next generation of young female cricketers.
And to do that they looked to play attacking cricket that entertained, a style driven by one of its main proponents: Captain Ellyse Perry.
“Across the board, the way that we’ve played our cricket … we’ve probably consistently scored the most runs when setting totals and then been really aggressive in the field and with the ball,” said Perry, who missed the Finals after injuring a hamstring against the Melbourne Renegades earlier in January.
“I think that’s the way forward, you know, for us and hopefully for women’s cricket because the more that we entertain people then inspire young girls to want to play the game, the bigger the game’s going to grow.”
Wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy was the stand-in Captain for Perry for the final regular season game against the Renegades, the Semi Final against the Hobart Hurricanes and the Big Final against the Scorchers.
But Perry’s influence didn’t stop there.
“We had a pretty simple motto. We just wanted to inspire other young girls to play,” said Ben Sawyer, Head Coach of the Sixers WBBL team.
“It’s really come from Pez [Perry], that’s what she wanted to do. We thought if we played attacking cricket, we could inspire the next lot of girls to come through and then that would bring us success.
“So that was really our motto for the season, not really winning the title.”
The entire team bought into the style of cricket and, not only played an attacking brand, but they finished top of the table and took home the silverware.
In the Big Final, the Sixers opened the batting and set a relatively modest total of 124 in stifling conditions at the WACA.
The Scorchers got their run chase off to a decent start, but the Sixers put their foot down in the middle overs and fought to the very end, snatching a famous victory as they restricted the Scorchers to 7-117.
“To just have that kind of commitment from the girls and to see the rewards they’ve got as a result of it was especially pleasing,” said Perry at the WACA after the Big Final.
“It was also a true credit to how much Ben Sawyer, our Head Coach, has done and the support staff have done to make sure we achieved what we wanted to.”