SYDNEY: The roster of Sydney Sixers has received a boost as New Zealand legend and 2008 Beijing Olympian Suzie Bates has signed with them for the upcoming season of Women’s Big Bash League.
Bates, who has dominated Twenty20 leagues around the globe as a batting all-rounder, said she was excited by the prospect of helping the Sixers squad reassert itself as the league’s most formidable outfit.
“They have a star-studded line-up, and I cannot wait to be part of that squad,” said 34-year-old Bates in a statement issued by the club, who registered a total of 71 WBBL matches, 1738 runs, and 35 wickets with the Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers.
“They have been one of the most successful clubs in WBBL history… but I think they would be the first to admit that in recent times they have not done as well as they would like. I cannot wait to be part of a team that wants to make finals and wants to win Championships.”
Bates, who has represented New Zealand in a total of 273 white ball matches, admitted the opportunity to play under coach Charlotte Edwards, and alongside old foes Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy proved irresistible.
“I have worked with ‘Lotte’ in the past, and her being there as coach was a really big reason to sign… knowing they would be well led,” said Bates of Edwards.
“I talked about my role in the top order and doing what I have done for any team that I have played in: trying to contribute with the bat; bringing senior leadership on the field; helping the team as best I can, and just being a good person around the group.”
“It will be nice [to play alongside Healy and Perry] because I am a bit sick of playing against them! Healy scored a lot of runs – and a few hundreds – against the Strikers in the past, so it will be nice to be down the other end and watch those two go about their business.”
Bates, whose international basketball career included playing five matches during the New Zealand team’s 2008 Beijing Olympics campaign, arrives to the Sixers with a stellar resume which includes:
– Leading the ICC’s tally for scoring the most Women’s T20I runs (3531)
– Becoming the first cricketer to score 3000 T20I runs
– Scoring one WT20I century and 22 half centuries
– Capturing 50 WT20I wickets
– Captaining New Zealand in the ODI and T20I arenas
– Being named the ICC’s 2013 Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year
– Receiving Wisden’s 2015 Woman Cricketer in the World award
– Being named the 2016 ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year
– Receiving the 2016 WT20I Cricketer of the Year award
– Winning the bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games
While Bates has starred in domestic teams throughout New Zealand, Australia, England and India, the Kiwi superstar said she had good reason to arrive in Sydney motivated to perform.
“I have not played in the WBBL over the last two years due to injury and COVID, so I am excited to be going back to Australia,” said Bates, who starred for The Oval Invincibles team that won The Hundred competition in England.
“I am obviously at a new ground, but Sydney always gets behind the Sixers. It is going to be a massive tournament with the top players playing. Here’s to a new season and a new colour for me – I hope it suits!”
New Sixers coach Chartlotte Edwards said Bates was a ‘must have’ player because she possessed traits that made her invaluable.
“Suzie is a great team person. Any team is certainly stronger with her in it and we are very lucky at the Sixers to have her. She is an important signing for us as a group with what she brings on and off the field. In terms of ‘onfield’ we identified an opening batter as a position we needed going into WBBL08 – and Suzie is world-leading in that position.”
“Suzie also brings an enormous amount of experience of playing in the WBBL, and that will be so valuable to our group. She is in the form of her life, coming off winning The Hundred where she played a pivotal role as a leader and opening bat.”
Edwards said she was excited by the prospect of Healy and Bates combining forces as the Sixers opening batters.
“I am looking forward to her forging a strong opening partnership with Alyssa Healy. I am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying the sight of two of the best openers in the world doing their thing.”
Sydney Sixers WBBL 08 Squad
Head Coach: Charlotte Edwards
Contracted Players: Ellyse Perry (C), Jade Allen, Suzie Bates, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Sophie Ecclestone, Ash Gardner, Ange Genford, Alyssa Healy.