Erskine Park teenager Hannah Darlington has signed a contract with the Sydney Thunder for the women’s Big Bash League this season.
The 15-year-old has risen rapidly though the ranks and is the first graduate of the Thunder’s WBBL Academy.
“I’m really excited to join Sydney Thunder for WBBL03,” she said.
“I want to take the opportunity with both hands to learn from the older girls and the experience they have and hopefully take some of that away.
“I like to think that I’m a pretty attacking batter, I like to take a few risks which might let me down at times, but I like to play an exciting game.”
The Thunder were the inaugural champions of the competition but in 2016-17, dropped to sixth.
Hannah was training with the academy alongside the top team last season and also received one-on-one training with members of the squad.
“I’ve always looked up Alex Blackwell, I remember once getting to the SCG early for training and she was having a hit, I just sat there in awe watching her bat,” she said.
“To be around her for three months with Thunder is really exciting. The way she leads Thunder is amazing.”
Hannah has had a strong start to the year, already impressing at the indigenous Australian training camp in August.
She attends Westfield Sports High School and has achieved significant milestones in both outdoor and indoor cricket.
Outdoors, she has played on the state women’s indigenous team and was named player of the tournament and leading wicket keeper while playing in the Combined High Schools team.
Indoors, she was named on the NSW U18 side in both 2015/16 and 2016/17, and represented Australia in the World Cup against New Zealand and South Africa, walking away a winner from both matches.
Thunder general manager Lee Germon said she has shown maturity beyond her years.
“She deserves a full contract with the Thunder WBBL squad and although a large part of this season will be a learning experience for her, the coaching staff and I are confident she will contribute positively to the team,” Germon said.
“Hannah is one of the exciting group of young, talented, confident cricketers who have been brought up on T20 and short form cricket and who will form an important part of the future success of the Sydney Thunder.”
Sydney Thunder open their Rebel Women’s Big Bash League campaign against the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers on 9 and 10 December at North Sydney Oval.