Ahead of the upcoming Rebel Women’s Big Bash League league, Sydney Thunder re-signed New Zealand’s representative Rachel Priest. For the New Zealand team, Priest has over 10 years of international experience, which include 86 One-Day Internationals and 68 Twenty-20 Internationals.
The wicketkeeper-batter has averaged 602 runs over 30 games and finished 21 dismissals behind the stumps since entering Sydney Thunder in 2017. She was given the Alex Blackwell Medal by an exceptional WBBL initiative, chosen by her colleagues as the tournament’s greatest performer.
“I was obviously surprised to win the Alex Blackwell Medal. I think for me, I mostly just focus on how the team’s going and obviously it was a really good season but disappointing at the end as well. I’m excited to be back and looking forward to seeing how far we can go this season,” Priest said (as stated on Sydney thunder)
“It’s really exciting to see the competition move to a standalone window. The way the Big Bash has evolved over the years, I think it’s definitely ready for this next step and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Together with freshly named Sydney Thunder Head Coach Trevor Griffin, Priest successfully won England’s Kia Super League with Western Storm. Throughout the event Priest was spectacular, recording three half-centuries and ending with 365 runs at an average of 36.50, the fourth-most in the tournament.
“It was a pretty phenomenal season, to win 10 out of 11 games, you don’t get that often, but it all came together and having Trevor join Thunder now will be amazing for our group,” Priest said.
“Trevor and I work really well together. He’s a really good coach, he doesn’t just worry about cricket, he worries about the players as people as well which I think is important. I think it’ll be a good challenge for him this season at Thunder, but I think he’s up for it.”
Coach Griffin is delighted to proceed to work at Sydney Thunder with Priest.
“Priest is an experienced player who knows her game very well. Having said that, she is always keen to continue to learn and develop. We’ve seen her wicketkeeping progress certainly over the past two years,” Griffin said.
“It’s not just what she does on the field, which is explosive and can take a game away from the opposition quite quickly, it’s what she brings off the field.
“Her experience in developing and supporting youngsters with their game is amazing, but also in team meetings, she speaks up and she’s very supportive of the team environment and helps build that family feels which is important.”
At North Sydney Oval on Friday 18 October, Sydney Thunder is scheduled to start the first-ever new WBBL tournament with a Sydney Smash blockbuster against crosstown competitors of the Sydney Sixers.
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