Sydney Sixers allrounder Ashleigh Gardner says it is awesome to be showcasing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through cricket during NAIDOC week, as the Sixers prepare to meet the Hobart Hurricanes (Sydney Showgrounds Stadium at 3:40pm) and Adelaide Strikers (Drummoyne Oval at 9:30am) on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
The Sixers have named 13 players from which a final 11 will be announced at the bat flip each day.
The WBBL will stage its First Nations Festival of Cricket this weekend to celebrate NAIDOC week, which started last Sunday, and acknowledges the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“It’s a really special week for Aboriginal people,” Gardner reflected.
“It is normally through our winter, unless you’re obviously playing overseas you don’t get to play cricket through NAIDOC week.
“It’s awesome to be showcasing the culture and that’s realistically what NAIDOC week is all about, showcasing it and celebrating it.”
The Sixers have lost just one match to the Hurricanes and Strikers respectively throughout the history of the WBBL.
v. Hobart Hurricanes
13 matches – 12 wins, 1 loss (the Sixers won the two clubs’ first encounter of WBBL|06 by nine runs)
v. Adelaide Strikers
12 matches – 11 wins, 1 loss (the Sixers defeated the Strikers in a rain-shortened match at North Sydney Oval to start their WBBL campaign)
Gardner starred in the Sixers’ first match against the Hurricanes with 53 from 35 balls and two wickets in the crucial final over at North Sydney Oval during the club’s WBBL Pride Party match.
Despite two losses against the Perth Scorchers during the week, Gardner said there were plenty of positives to take into the weekend.
“I don’t think we’ve played that bad cricket. In the first game against the Scorchers, we ended up still making 147. Then in the second game on Wednesday, we got it to the 20th over without our best pace bowler (Marizanne Kapp).”
Kapp left the field at Blacktown on Wednesday with illness related to a pre-existing heart condition but is expected to be fit for the weekend’s slate of games.
Pre-purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.au/cricket
WBBL Squad v Hobart Hurricanes (14/11/20) and v Adelaide Strikers (15/11/20):
- Sarah Aley (shirt number 3)
- Erin Burns (29)
- Stella Campbell (18)
- Maddy Darke (7)
- Ashleigh Gardner (6)
- Lisa Griffith (28)
- Alyssa Healy (77)
- Jodie Hicks (14)
- Emma Hughes (22)
- Marizanne Kapp (17)
- Ellyse Perry (C) (8)
- Angela Reakes (30)
- Dane van Niekerk (23)