Kara gives WBBL thumbs up
WBBL: THE inaugural Women’s Big Bash League season may have just come to a close, but Kara Sutherland can’t wait for the next one to begin.
The former Grafton resident played for Sydney Sixers in the first season of the WBBL, an opportunity Sutherland was proud to be a part of.
“It was awesome and absolutely a privilege to be involved in something that we hoped for a long time would eventuate, it was so exciting,” she said.
“There was a great culture in the team on and off the field, and we all really worked together well which was great.”
It wasn’t a great start to the season for the Sixers, losing the first six games.
“We improved a lot throughout the season,” Sutherland said.
“I don’t really know what happened in the first few games, but we always believed we had a team that could win games and could go well.”
The Sixers had a strong run home and made it to the final and, despite losing a tightly fought match against cross town rivals Sydney Thunder, Sutherland counted the season as a success.
“It was such a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best women’s cricketers in the world,” she said.
“Having Ellyse Perry as your captain, you’re always going to learn a lot from her.
“The calibre of international players brought in to the squad gave it an extra element, and just having them around was awesome.”
Sutherland said women’s cricket was shifting towards becoming a professional sport.
“The WBBL was probably the first taste I’ve had of a more full-time training environment,” she said.
“The schedule was pretty hectic, at one stage we played four games in three days.
“It’s a challenge trying to find that balance between work, training and travel, but it’s a good challenge to have, it’s really exciting.
“I heard from people who said their daughter or a friend’s daughter became interested in cricket and wanted to play after watching the WBBL on TV. That’s something we want to promote, help young girls to see that cricket is an opportunity.”
Sutherland played in every Sixers match of the WBBL season. She said she was surprised by its popularity and hoped it will continue into next season.
“The experience of playing on some of the best grounds in Australia against some of the best players in the country and being a part of the first WBBL is something I’ll never forget,” she said.
“We hoped it would be popular but I guess you never know until it all happens.
“Looking at the TV ratings, and the crowds we were getting at the double header games, it was great to see.”
Sutherland is now back in Brisbane playing for Queensland Fire for the remainder of the domestic season which finishes in March.
She said she is looking forward to a bit of a break over the off-season.
“I kind of missed the whole off-season last year because I went and played in England, but I’m looking forward to a bit of time off.
“But it doesn’t take long before I want to get back out in the middle.”