The Sixers take on cross town rivals the Sydney Thunder in the opening match of the WBBL under lights at the picturesque venue, the first of back-to-back matches at North Sydney Oval for the girls in magenta over the weekend.
They play defending champions Brisbane Heat on Saturday night seeking to flip the result of last season’s WBBL Final won by the Heat at Drummoyne Oval.
“(The standalone) platform gives us an incredible opportunity to build a really competent and exciting competition on its own in the WBBL,” said Perry at North Sydney Oval on Thursday.
“Hopefully playing in places like North Sydney Oval with really affordable ticket prices for adults, and it’s still free for kids to come along, means that it’s hopefully a really great family event.
“Something people can come down on a Friday night or across the weekend, really enjoy the cricket and the entertainment and everything that goes with it, in terms of the food trucks, the Bounce trampoline for the kids and all those things.”
Perry smashed the all-time record for most runs in one WBBL campaign last season, scoring 777 at an average of 86.33, 200 more than the previous best set by current Australian captain Meg Lanning, and is expected to again open the batting with good mate Alyssa Healy.
Healy posted the highest score in a Women’s T20 International in early October against Sri Lanka.
The super star wicketkeeper-batter crunched 148 not out from just 61 balls at North Sydney Oval, and in her last match for Australia a little over a week ago, hit an unbeaten One-Day International century.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch her do as well as she has, not just this summer so far, but the last 18 months or so,” said Perry about Healy.
The Sixers have named a youthful squad for its opening two matches including four teenagers.
Left-arm finger spinner Alisha Bates, pace bowlers Stella Campbell, Emma Hughes and wicketkeeper-batter Maddy Darke are all potential debutants for Friday night’s match.
Campbell signed with the Sixers last season, alongside now 16-year-old Hayley Silver-Holmes, who became the youngest female player to ever debut for the Sixers during WBBL|04.
Bates, Darke and Hughes all signed with the Sixers this season.
Perry said the emergence of these rising stars was indicative of how well the WBBL is progressing.
“I was speaking to Emma Hughes one of our new signings about her HSC Geography yesterday, so that took me back a few years,” Perry said with a smile.
“(Opportunities) are now available to the best young talent coming through to earn a place on team lists, so it’s really nice to have some new faces and some really youthful exuberance, mixed with obviously some really senior, well-experienced players.
“We miss Sara McGlashan this year, a big loss there in terms of an amazing leader and just a cool, calm head, but in that it gives an opportunity to someone like Maddy Darke (who could) step into the batting order.”
Perry also explained how much the squad was looking forward to starting their new campaign at North Sydney Oval.
“We love playing here, it’s probably in a lot of ways our spiritual home ground at the Sixers.
“They’re always really high scoring matches, I think they provide a lot of entertainment for the crowd and people watching at home.
“Just the perfect venue and the best place to start.”
WBBL Squad v Thunder (18th Oct) & v Heat (19th Oct):
3. Sarah Aley
99. Alisha Bates
29. Erin Burns
18. Stella Campbell
7. Maddy Darke
6. Ashleigh Gardner
77. Alyssa Healy
14. Jodie Hicks
22. Emma Hughes
17. Marizanne Kapp
8. Ellyse Perry (c)
4. Hayley Silver-Holmes
2. Lauren Smith
Who: Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder
When: Friday October 18, 1940 (Gates open 1840)
Where: North Sydney Oval
Theme: Sydney Smash - the cross town rivalry continues
Who: Sydney Sixers vs Brisbane Heat
When: Saturday October 19, 1910 (Gates open 1810)
Where: North Sydney Oval
Theme: Sixers Can, You Can - the Sixers have partnered with Sony Foundation Australia’s youth cancer program ‘You Can’ since 2010. On Saturday players will wear playing shirts bearing inspirational messages that will be auctioned off after the game. You can donate at www.sonyfoundation.org/sydneysixers