The Tasmanian-based 34-year-old, a veteran of nine Tests for Australia, was part of both squads who claimed back-to-back BBL titles across the last two seasons, and in February at the SCG experienced that feeling for the first time on-field.
“That was my first title as a professional cricketer, so that was something really special towards the back end of last season after a pretty tough BBL campaign on the road,” Bird said.
“I feel like my performances over the last two years have been pretty solid, so I’m pretty stoked that the Sixers want me around for another two years.”
Bird returned to the Sixers for his second stint with the club in 2019, after one season with the Melbourne Stars, who he had also played for during the first four years of the Big Bash.
BBL|11 will be his sixth as a Sixer as the men in magenta seek to make it three in a row.
Bird hails from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and after moving to the Apple Isle at a young age is now a leader of the Tasmanian attack in Sheffield Shield and One Day cricket.
He has taken 414 wickets with the red ball at the first class level plus 102 across the T20 and 50-over formats.
Sydney Sixers List Manager Lisa Sthalekar said that type of experience was invaluable to any squad and keeps the core group together from the last two title wins, including captain Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, James Vince, Stephen O’Keefe and Jordan Silk.
“To be able to regain the services of Jackson is a huge bonus and it means the Sixers are in a really good shape retaining the majority of their players from last year,” Sthalekar said.
“He gives us that experience with the new ball, up front. He can also bowl in the powerplay.
“The experiences he’s had at the next level for Australia, albeit not as much as he would have liked, also really does help players know what to do in difficult situations and I think that’s really important.
“And he’s a good bloke.”
Two years on from his return to the club, Bird admitted that he was a little nervous coming back into the squad, at first, after not performing as well as he would have liked the first time around at the Sixers, leaving, then coming back.
But he needn’t have been concerned.
“The way the boys welcomed me back in, I couldn’t have asked for much more. It makes being able to perform on the field a lot easier that you’ve got that support from your teammates,” Bird said.
Bird and the Sixers begin their BBL|11 campaign with the first match of the season scheduled for Sunday 5 December at the SCG.
Sydney Sixers BBL|11 Squad
Head Coach: Greg Shipperd
Contracted for BBL|11: Moises Henriques (C), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Carlos Brathwaite (WIND), Daniel Christian, Tom Curran (ENG), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Stephen O'Keefe, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince (ENG).