If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! That’s the overwhelming message from Sydney Sixers all-rounder Erin Burns after the 31-year-old was selected for her first ever the Australian Women’s Cricket Team tour.
After more than a decade spent plying her trade in the Tasmanian and ACT systems, the Wollongong born Burns has come into her own in recent WBBL seasons, earning a NSW Breakers WNCL contract and a trip to the UK this past winter with Australia A.
Now she will get her chance with Australia’s number one team and set her sights on a berth at the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup.
Instead of treating knee reconstructions and ankle sprains in her job as a physiotherapist, Burns will next week head off to the Caribbean alongside Sixers head coach Ben Sawyer and teammates Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner for her crack at the big time.
Burns is a middle order bat who can play both sides of the wicket and a more than handy right-arm off-spinner who is rightly considered one of the best fielders in the game. She is also one of the quickest and fittest.
All up in four WBBL seasons – two each with Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers - Burns has 976 runs with a top score of 54n.o., while taking 24 wickets and 32 catches – the second most in the tournament’s history for non-wicket keepers.
Burns said she still couldn’t believe she had been called up, while stating her dream had been ‘never over until it’s over’.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Burns said.
“I know that is a cliché but I have been asked by people over the last couple of years ‘is the Australian team on the cards for you, do you look that far ahead?’ and I always just thought, the team is doing so well and I’m aware that I’m not at the start of my career, that if I’m equal with a younger player they would probably get picked.
“For it to happen now, I am just shocked.”
Burns believes the turning point in her career came when she arrived at the Sydney Sixers before WBBL|02.
“I can genuinely say I wouldn’t be here, in this position, if I hadn’t made the decision to come across to the Sixers,” she said.
“Not only the opportunity that I have had in having the coaching staff they have at the Sixers, but being able to play with players like Ellyse Perry, like Alyssa Healy, like all of our overseas players and the high quality local playing group has been invaluable really.
“I just don’t think you can kind of put a value on what having that experience and exposure means.”
Sixers Head Coach Sawyer said Burns’ selection is a tribute to her uncompromising determination.
“Erin is an extremely talented athlete and cricketer who has improved with every opportunity she has been given in recent years,” Sawyer said.
“We may have some bigger ‘names’ at the Sydney Sixers but few players in the WBBL are more valuable than Burnsy and this selection is a wonderful recognition of that.
“I’ve got no doubt she will take this chance with both hands and also come back to the Sixers a better player for it.”
Burns and the Sydney Sixers kick off their WBBL|05 campaign against cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder at North Sydney Oval on October 18.
Tickets for WBBL|05 and BBL|09 are available via https://www.sydneysixers.com.au/tickets