Darcie Brown

Darcie Brown took the Adelaide Strikers first hat-trick in the WBBL, but the team fell short of the Brisbane Heat in Launceston. (Photo: WBBL - Twitter)

With the WBBL returning to the original festival fixture, crowds will be welcomed back to venues in NSW and Victoria for the first time in two years. Despite still playing games at Karen Rolton Oval in South Australia throughout, the Strikers women are encouraging the crowd to take advantage of the lifting of crowd restrictions.

The Strikers have their first game at their home oval against the Renegades on the 24th of October during the second weekend of the tournament. Young pace dynamo Darcie Brown fronted the media for the WBBL|08 launch at Adelaide Oval where she echoed this sentiment asking for the Blue Crew to come out in droves.

“I want to see a sea of blue [at Karen Rolton Oval],” Brown exclaimed.

“It’s great with no COVID protocols that we can get as many people down and just cheering along.

“I’m sure the girls will enjoy it without really having crowds for the last two years but looking forward to it and hopefully see lots of people there.”

Launching their WBBL|08 campaign in Mackay, the Adelaide Strikers will take on the Sydney Sixers and the Melbourne Renegades in the first weekend of action. Brown explains that it is a little more than the cricket that is exciting the Strikers girls.

“Yeah very exciting [to go back to Mackay], we’ve been looking at the weather up there because it’s been looking [good]. It’s been a bit cold in Adelaide and we are really looking forward to the weather that’s going to be up there and then also playing some cricket.”

The first game against the Sixers not only sees two very talented groups playing off in what should be a sensational match-up but the Strikers facing a familiar face. Going to the Sixers as a head coach in the off-season, former Strikers assistant coach Charlotte Edwards will face her old team for the first time.

Brown reflects on what Edwards meant to the group but insists there are no hard feelings.

“I think it might be a bit awkward,” Brown joked.

“But no, she’s great, we miss her dearly but obviously she’s onto bigger and better things being a head coach and I’m sure she’ll do great and hopefully we get [one] up on her.”

When considering the last season, the Strikers fell at the last hurdle losing out to the Perth Scorchers in the final. Looking to go one better, Brown looks to the experience of the core group which has been cemented over a number of years.

“It’s been great for the last week to get to train with the girls again before starting to play but everyone is so excited and looking forward to getting one better.”

“We’ve been together as a group for a long time which is exciting,” she said.

“I don’t think many teams have had that strong core group like ‘Shooter’ (Megan Schutt) and ‘T-Mac’ (Tahlia McGrath) and Bridget (Patterson) have been there and ‘Wello’ (Amanda-Jade Wellington) and probably more have been there since the start so hopefully now we’ve had a bit of experience in the final and hopefully we can get one better.”

When speaking about being included in the South Australian contingent within the Australian team that recently won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in the Women’s T20 cricket, Brown was just thankful for the experience. She says the highlight has been the growth of the duo of Wellington and McGrath particularly.

“I’m very lucky to have those two (Schutt and McGrath), we are literally joined at the hip, they call us an exclusive group but anyone’s welcome,” Brown explained.

“We are always together 24/7 and then when we come back here we sort of don’t see each other as much but we still see each other every day but we’re not together 24/7 but it’s been awesome to travel with those girls.”

“With ‘Wello’ as well, watching their journeys as well I guess especially ‘T-Mac’ and ‘Wello’, they’ve been in and out of the side for a bit and now they are back in and it’s great to see them there.”

Looking ahead at the new recruits at the Strikers and it’s no surprise that the biggest Strikers’ signing in powerful West-Indian all-rounder Deandra Dottin has slotted in at the Strikers already.

Making her debut for the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team in 2008, Dottin has a vast array of experience which will make a big difference to the line-up.

“Yeah [we should expect] big things, I’ve been watching her in the nets and I don’t want to bowl to her incase it comes back and hits me in the head, she’s been smoking them and she’s been great [around the group].”

Coming into the team in an off-field capacity is former Melbourne Renegades captain Amy Satterthwaite who brings a wealth of international experience as the former captain of the White Ferns.

She will bring a fresh set of eyes to the squad and Brown is eager to get some tips to help her own batting game.

“She’s got so much experience and so much knowledge about the game,” Brown said.

“She’s been a legend for I don’t know how long but looking forward to meeting her and getting stuck in, I mean I don’t bat that much but I’ll definitely get a few tips to hopefully get up the order and pass ‘Shooter’ (Schutt).”

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