Perth Scorchers will face a baptism of fire in their Women’s Big Bash League opener, coming up against reigning champions Brisbane first up following an eight-month lay-off.
New coach Shelley Nitschke believes the tough introduction is a blessing in disguise, with the nation-wide cricket shutdown giving her team a better chance of upsetting the Heat first-up.
“It’s all a very even playing field, everyone is in the same boat with regards to minimal cricket being played,” Nitschke said.
“I think the first round or the first couple of rounds are a really level playing field, not a lot of the girls have had much cricket so it’s just going to be who can adapt and handle the game pressure before the other team can.”
The back-to-back title winners lost their most dangerous weapon in the off-season, with Perth’s new opener Beth Mooney squaring off against her former Brisbane teammates at the earliest opportunity.
“I’m sure she’ll be looking forward to taking them on,” Nitschke said of the October 25 clash.
“It’s a really good challenge for us straight up and helps us see where we’re at and will make sure we hit the ground running.
“I don’t think it’s something we’ll bring up a lot but everyone’s aware of it. I think we just need to worry about what we’re doing and focus on getting things right for that first game.”
Perth’s season will be book-ended by fixture squeezes, playing four games in eight days to begin and six games in nine days to conclude their regular season on November 22.
It was announced last month The entire competition will be played in Sydney due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nitschke, who is currently in Brisbane for her role as Australia’s assistant coach, welcomed the resumption of grade cricket this weekend to blow out the cobwebs.
“The Perth-based girls are lucky to get some club cricket in before they come away so that’ll be really handy,” she said.
“I think some of the girls will just be happy to get out there and have a hit in the game before we get to Sydney.”
The Scorchers are expected to announce their international recruits next week which will complete their roster, following the signings of local players Megan Banting, Mathilda Carmichael and 18-year-old newcomer Georgia Wyllie.
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