Sutherland in cricket wonderland
KARA Sutherland still has to pinch herself when she looks around.
The MCG, SCG, Adelaide Oval ... yes, life's good for Grafton's cricketing starlet.
“I have been really lucky this year to be able to play at places like the MCG and SCG,” she told the Examiner.
“You see the men play there and it's great to be able to share that experience.”
Tomorrow Sutherland and her NSW Breakers team-mates take to the Adelaide Oval for the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) Twenty20 title decider against Victoria.
This is the second consecutive summer that NSW and Victoria will meet in the Twenty20 showpiece.
But this year, the Breakers will be looking to turn the tables on their bitter rivals, who won the inaugural final by 52 runs.
And Sutherland, named as part of the 12-player NSW squad, will be in the thick of the action.
“I'm pretty excited,” she said.
“I think that we are one of the best fielding teams in the competition so we should be a good chance.”
It has been a rapid rise for the 19-year-old since departing the local cricket landscape.
She has enjoyed a breakthrough year with the state side, playing a major role in the Twenty20 squad's progress as well as providing a bit-part job with her left-arm pace in the 50-over format.
And Sutherland credits the likes of Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar as being vital in her progress.
“It's great to have these Australian players around. To be able to have them there and watch how they go about things is fantastic,” Sutherland said.
“It makes you realise just how much hard work they put in and what you have to do to get to that level.
“Hopefully in the next two or three years I can start to be a major player in the team.”
The WNCL Twenty20 final will be broadcast live on Fox Sports with coverage starting at 3.30pm AEDST.
Live scores and tweets from the match will also be available on www.cricketnsw.com.
The WNCL Twenty20 final will be a curtain-raiser to the decider of the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash between NSW and South Australia.
It will also be the first of two finals between the Breakers and Victoria, with the sides also scheduled to meet at the Sydney Cricket Ground on February 12 for the 50-over crown.
NSW Breakers squad
Alex Blackwell (c) Erin Osborne, Sarah Aley, Nicola Carey, Sarah Coyte, Nicole Goodwin, Alyssa Healy, Claire Koski, Sharon Millanta, Leah Poulton, Angela Reakes, Lisa Sthalekar, Kara Sutherland