The sixth edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) is all set to begin from October 25. While the players have entered the Women’s Big Bash bubble on Tuesday, Sydney Thunder captain Rachael Haynes is no different. However, along with WBBL 06, she is gearing up to watch her favourite Richmond Tigers in Saturday’s AFL grand final.

“I’ve already had a chat with Georgia Wareham via Whatsapp and decided we need a bit of a quiet space to focus on the game and not having any interruptions from Geelong supporters,” Haynes said. “We play in the Aussie team together and she’s in with the Renegades. I’m sure we’ll be able to find somewhere.”

Sydney Thunder will kick start their campaign against Sydney Sixers on Sunday, and Rachael Haynes is hopeful that they will have a great season ahead. This is her second season as captain and the classy left-handed batter is ready to lead the team back to the WBBL finals with the fresh recruits for this season.

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England captain Heather Knight will play for Sydney Thunder, alongside her national teammate Tammy Beaumont while they will get the service of star pace bowler Sammy Jo-Johnson.

“We’ve recruited really well during the off season, it was obviously really important given we’d lost senior players in Rene Farrell and Alex Blackwell,” Haynes said.

“They’ve got some wonderful experience which our younger players will really absorb and be able to learn off. She [Knight] is a great international captain. I think naturally she’ll just lead in terms of what she does both on and off the field. I’m sure at certain stages she’ll be a good person to bounce ideas off. I want her to come here and really enjoy her cricket and not feel like she’s got to do too much from that side as well,” added the captain, Rachael Haynes.

While each cricketer has their own room in the WBBL bubble, they are only allowed to leave the bubble for training and playing.

“Stepping into it initially there’ll be a bit of a novelty factor to it but the longer it goes on I think the more challenging it will be,” she shared.

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“When you’re in a hub…it’s hard to get away from cricket. In normal circumstances, you’re able to have that autonomy where you can go and do something to take your mind off it, whether it be a game of golf or go to the beach. It’s probably not going to be quite as much freedom this time around,” Rachael Haynes concluded.

Sydney Thunder Squad for WBBL 06:

Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont, Hannah Darlington, Rachael Haynes (C), Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Lauren Smith, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson

***This article first appeared on The Canberra Times***

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