The Lend Lease Breakers begin the defence of their Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and Women’s T20 trophies this weekend when they take on the Tasmanian Roar in Launceston from today until Sunday.
This summer, the Lend Lease Breakers are defending ‘the double’ after becoming the first team to win both competitions in the same season in 2012/13. They have been the dominant team in 50 over cricket and are aiming to secure their ninth consecutive WNCL title and their 16th in 18 seasons.
Selectors have named a squad of 12 for their opening round of matches, including Alex Blackwell, Rachael Haynes, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy, who were all part of the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars team that played against England during the winter.
The full squad to play Tasmania is (clubs/regional zones in parentheses):
Alex Blackwell (captain – Universities/Riverina)
Rachael Haynes (vice-captain – Universities)
Sarah Aley (Bankstown Sports)
Nicola Carey (St George-Sutherland)
Alyssa Healy (Sydney)
Claire Koski (Campbelltown-Camden)
Sharon Millanta (Bankstown Sports)
Erin Osborne (Sydney/Central Northern)
Ellyse Perry (Sydney)
Leah Poulton (St George-Sutherland/Newcastle)
Angela Reakes (Sydney/North Coastal)
Naomi Stalenberg (Campbelltown-Camden)
Australian all-rounder Sarah Coyte and fast bowler Kara Sutherland were not considered for this round because of injury, while this is also the first time in 16 years that Lisa Sthalekar’s name is missing from the NSW team sheet following her retirement last February.
Nineteen-year-old Naomi Stalenberg has been selected to make her debut. An all-rounder, Stalenberg was promoted from the Cricket NSW Academy Development squad to the Lend Lease Breakers squad a just a few weeks ago after an impressive pre-season. Last summer, as part of her development, she was given the opportunity to represent the Northern Spirit as an overseas player in New Zealand’s domestic women’s competition.
NSW is the last state to commence their 2013/14 campaign with the other teams all playing their first matches over the past two weekends.
The team are raring to go after a long pre-season with several of the Lend Lease Breakers’ batters warming up with some record efforts in grade cricket.
Two weeks ago Alex Blackwell and Rachael Haynes put on 387 runs for the first wicket in a 50 over match for their club side, Universities, with Blackwell making 223 and Haynes 168. Last weekend Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Erin Osborne all contributed to Sydney posting 4–229 in a T20 match.
The Lend Lease Breakers are yet to lose a match to Tasmania. They first met in the WNCL back in 2010/11 with NSW scoring 5–395 at North Sydney Oval. Up until last season that was a record for the highest team score in a WNCL match.
All of this weekend’s matches will be played at the NTCA ground in Launceston with T20 matches on Friday (October 25, 4pm) and Sunday (October 27, 10am) with a 50 over game on Sunday (October 26, 10am).