After three seasons with the ACT Meteors, honing her craft as a wicketkeeper-batter, 21-year-old Lugg patiently waited for that WBBL opportunity to come.
When recently back home in Coffs Harbour, during a week’s break from pre-season, Lugg received the ultimate surprise. An offer to join the Sydney Sixers.
“I got a phone call from (Sixers WBBL and BBL List Manager) Lisa Sthalekar, out of the blue, and I was very shocked to get a phone call from her,” Lugg said.
“She basically said we need a back-up keeper and she asked me what my thoughts were on playing for the Sixers and obviously my thoughts were very positive.
“I’m beside myself a little bit, I’m really excited.”
List Manager and Australian cricket great, Lisa Sthalekar, reflected the excitement of that call.
“She was ‘over the moon’, she can’t wait to learn off Alyssa Healy,” Sthalekar said.
Not only had Lugg secured the WBBL contract she had dreamed of, but is now a teammate of her idol.
“When I started playing cricket and I was a lot younger, (Alyssa Healy) was an idol of mine, and she still is, so being in the same squad as her and learning from the best is such an awesome opportunity.”
The addition of Lugg also gives the squad some depth in the keeping ranks, said Sthalekar.
“It’s important to give Alyssa a bit of relief so that she doesn’t have to push through sometimes if she cops one on the finger (or something like that),” she said.
“We have Tilly there as the back-up, she’s an up-and-coming, young prospect.
“(Tilly is also) a bright, young North Coast girl who’s come through the Cricket NSW Pathway, so it’s great to have those girls coming back through the WBBL.”
Lugg regularly represented ACT/NSW Country and North Coastal Country Zone, at the underage level, playing with or against future Sixers teammates Lauren Cheatle and Stella Campbell.
Lugg’s captain at the ACT Meteors Angela Reakes also hails from the North Coast of NSW and plays WBBL for the Sixers.
The almost four-year wait to get that elusive WBBL contract made it “even more sweet” for the law student.
“I have been trying to chip away and eventually find my way into a team for the last few years,” Lugg said.
“When WBBL starts in October and November, most of my ACT squad go off to Big Bash, so the last two years it’s been me and a couple of others back (in Canberra) training... but this year, I get to go away as well and experience that, meet new people.”
The Sixers have two roster spots still available for WBBL|07.
Sydney Sixers WBBL Squad
Head Coach: Ben Sawyer
Contracted for WBBL|07: Ellyse Perry (C), Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Emma Hughes, Matilda Lugg, Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes.
Sydney Sixers WBBL|07 Fixtures (All AEDT Start Times)
Thurs 14 Oct | Vs Melbourne Stars | 7:40pm | North Sydney Oval
Sun 17 Oct | Vs Sydney Thunder | 1:40pm | North Sydney Oval
Tues 19 Oct | Vs Melbourne Stars | 7:05pm | Blacktown ISP
Sat 23 Oct | Vs Sydney Thunder | 3:40pm | WACA
Sun 24 Oct | Vs Melbourne Renegades | 1:40pm | WACA
Sat 30 Oct | Vs Perth Scorchers | 5:15pm | Lilac Hill
Sun 31 Oct | Vs Melbourne Renegades | 1:30pm | Lilac Hill
Sat 6 Nov | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | 10:45am | Karen Rolton Oval
Sun 7 Nov | Vs Adelaide Strikers | 2:15pm | Centennial Park Oval
Wed 10 Nov | Vs Brisbane Heat | 7:05pm | Blacktown ISP
Sat 13 Nov | Vs Brisbane Heat | 7:05pm | Blundstone Arena
Sun 14 Nov | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | 1:40pm | Karen Rolton Oval
Sat 20 Nov | Vs Adelaide Strikers | 1:40pm | Great Barrier Reef Arena
Sun 21 Nov | Vs Perth Scorchers | 10:15am | Karen Rolton Oval