The newly professional Lendlease NSW Breakers are set to kick off their 2016 WNCL campaign with a triple header opening weekend in Brisbane. In a replay of last year’s WNCL final, the Breakers, are set to take on South Australia in the opening game of the WNCL at the Gabba on Thursday, 13 October.
This will be followed by Tasmania, on Friday, 14 October, and hosts Queensland on Sunday, 16 October.
The Breakers have won 17 titles in the 20-year history of the WNCL and had won 10 in a row until South Australia broke the sequence last season.
The unusually busy start to the season, with three game in quick succession, is something which Lendlease Breakers Coach Jo Broadbent regards as a challenge and will be a real litmus test of any team’s preparations.
“We’ve known for a long time that this opening weekend was going to be a challenging one, not only because of the number of games and the quick turnaround time between each, but also because of the physical challenges of playing at the Gabba with the humidity, size and speed of the outfield,” said Broadbent.
“Any fitness deficits are going to be front and centre this weekend. So we have invested a lot of time in the offseason focusing on individual player fitness and conditioning. We have also recently come back from an intensive training camp here in Brisbane, where we replicated the conditions which we are going to be facing this weekend with back to back practice games and training sessions.”
Last year’s WNCL winners South Australia is known for its spinners, something which the team will be looking to capitalise on at the Gabba throughout the middle overs.
“Being able to bat against spin is always a priority for us,” continued Broadbent.
“A number of our players have just come back from the Southern Stars tour to Sri Lanka, where they were facing attacking spin daily and have a lot of hours batting against spin under their belts. For the rest of the squad we’ve done a lot of work facing spin so that they are comfortable playing back in the crease and advancing. We’re ready,” concluded Broadbent.
Lendlease Breakers vice-captain and Southern Stars player Ellyse Perry will be rested this weekend ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa.
The Lendlease Breakers squad for the opening weekend of the WNCL are:
- Alex Blackwell (C)
- Alyssa Healy
- Ashleigh Gardner
- Belinda Vakarewa
- Lauren Cheatle
- Lauren Smith
- Maisy Gibson
- Mikayla Hinkley
- Naomi Stalenberg
- Nicola Carey
- Rachael Haynes
- Rene Farrell
- Sarah Aley
- Stefanie Daffara
The match against South Australia starts at 10h00am with the team being announced after the toss.
Live scores and updates can be found on cricket.com.au