THE biggest cricket adventure to date for Bathurst talent Lisa Griffith will unfold this Saturday when her Sydney Thunder side begin their 2017-18 Women’s Big Bash League campaign.
Griffith officially joined the Thunder’s ranks in October after captaining the inaugural NSW Country team and more recently being named in the NSW Breakers squad for the Women’s National Cricket League.
Now the glitz and glamour of the growing WBBL beckons as the Thunder take on the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers this Saturday and Sunday respectively.
It’s been a remarkable comeback year and a half for Griffith, who had spent the previous four years working as a jillaroo across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Griffith will arrive at North Sydney Oval in great form after scoring an unbeaten match-winning total of 56 for Penrith in their Sydney Cricket Association Women's Competition fixture.
“I didn’t really expect to pick up a contract because it was my first year back in quite a while. It was amazing to get one,” Griffith said.
“When the Thunder came to me I was very excited and proud because of my affiliation with Western Sydney. The weeks have felt long since that offer happened so it’s great for the season to arrive.
Griffith is thrilled to be a part of a Thunder team bursting at the seams with both domestic and international talent.
“It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me since I’ve gotten used to playing men’s cricket and the one-day format. In the Thunder I see myself fitting in more as a bowler … since we’ve got a very strong batting lineup,” Griffith said.
“With Harmanpreet Kaur, Stafanie Taylor and Rachel Priest there’s three amazing, world-class players. In a way it’s bittersweet to know you’ll be batting down the order but when there’s players like that ahead of you it’s going to be amazing to learn from.
“Alex Blackwell was a major factor in me being so proud to join the Thunder. I was saying the other day that every time I talk to her I feel like I come away a better person.
“Ever since she’s turned 30 she’s only gotten better and better, plus she’s a wonderful person off the field. It’s so exciting to play alongside her. Whether it’s in grade cricket, Breakers or with the Thunder she gives 100 per cent.”
Griffith said she was feeling “rusty” in her return matches last season but has appreciated the support from both club and state coaching staff in getting her back to her best.
“I knew if I was going to come back to cricket that I would not be doing it halfheartedly,” she said.
“This is an opportunity I feel like I’ve created by playing hard and practising a lot. I’ve put a lot of time into improving my bowling, batting and fielding because I don’t feel like I’m a naturally gifted player. The time with the Breakers and the Thunder has helped me so much.
“I’m really nervous. With how far the women’s game has come – with crowds and TV time – that’s something I’ve never experienced. I’m so excited about the way the women’s game is developing.”
The Thunder and Renegades open the WBBL season from 1.45pm. The Sydney derby gets underway from 2pm Sunday at the same venue.