Erskine Park cricketer Hannah Darlington has capped off a memorable rookie season in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) by inking a new two-year deal with the Sydney Thunder.
The 18-year-old, who sat her HSC English exam on the morning she made her WBBL debut, needed no time to find her feet in elite company.
While she finished the season as the Thunder’s leading wicket taker with 16, her ability to adapt to the pressure and intensity of the competition surprised veteran players.
As a result of her standout performances Darlington was named the WBBL Young Gun and – apart from making her WNCL debut for NSW – was also signed to play for the Otago Sparks in New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition alongside her Thunder teammate, Lisa Griffith.
Darlington said she was ecstatic to be part of what she described as the club’s “exciting future”.
“It was an easy decision to stay on for another two years,” she said.
“I’ve been at the club for three years and I’ve loved it. Coach Trevor Griffin did what I thought was an amazing job to allow the younger players in the squad the chance to showcase their skills.
“There was never any pressure on us, we just had to go out and express ourselves. We had six teenagers in our squad, and it was exciting to see we all went out and performed when given the opportunity.”
Sydney Thunder Acting General Manager Chris Botherway described Darlington as a great ambassador for the club and women’s cricket.
“Hannah has proven she is a cricketer with enormous potential,” he said.
“However in her first season she proved to also be a great ambassador and, despite her young age, a role model.
“She was selected to address our men’s squad at their orientation day. It was no surprise to see them hang off her every word as she described the thrill and honour of playing for Sydney Thunder.
“Hannah has great leadership qualities and is someone who will grow with the club. We are proud to have her and we’ll do everything to ensure she continues to develop as a player and person.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.