This year has been so challenging in so many ways, and after 14 days hard quarantine stuck in a hotel room, I am so grateful to be able to play cricket, to still be able to have social interactions with my teammates and to be able to travel. It is something I have always taken for granted until now but I don’t think any of us will take it for granted again.
So much goes into the organisation of these tournaments and the welfare of the players and spectators, so I am sure it has been an incredible effort by Cricket Australia, New South Wales, and all of the different stadium teams. It’s so important to keep these events running (as long as they’re safe) because they bring so much more than just a bit of sport.
With the league shifting entirely to Sydney, in a bio-secure village, it's already going to be so different to previous years but it means that there will be a real pocket of excitement with fans and, like always, the broadcast will do the rest. The WBBL is all about the pace, speed and excitement of the game. It's about the noise from the crowd, the families and range of sports fans in the stands and it’s often the atmosphere that brings out the nerves. I have played some of my best and worst cricket in scenarios where the pressure has been built up and the atmosphere inside the stadium definitely plays a part, so although I have played in a COVID-safe stadium already this season, the WBBL is slightly different and I’m sure the organisers will have a few tricks up their sleeves to keep it the tournament that we know and love.
It’s so important to keep these events running (as long as they’re safe) because they bring so much more than just a bit of sport.
Last season was the biggest in the history of the women’s game and it’s so important to keep up the incredible momentum of women’s cricket, so I really hope it is as big as last year, if not bigger. It felt like women’s cricket was on the crest of a wave with 86,000 people watching the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup but then it just hit a wall. Currently women’s sport seems to be hit harder with cancellations during COVID, than our male counterparts so it is important to get competitions back up & running. It’s going to take time to rebuild, but all of these tournaments help to do that.
I’m feeling confident with the bat and can’t wait to get out there. There are some tough games ahead but it is such an exciting format that if you keep your head, you’ve got a good chance. Brisbane Heat have been pretty unstoppable over the past couple of years but I think this year there are other teams who have made some great new signings. Perth Scorchers have signed two of last year’s best performers in Sophie Devine from Adelaide Strikers, who was last year's Player of the Tournament & Beth Mooney from Brisbane Heat who is the ICC number one T20 batter in the World. If those two play well, then they will be tough to beat but the best thing about the WBBL is anything can happen and the margins are so small.
I can’t wait to get out there.
Tammy Beaumont is a brand ambassador for JM Finn