The Brisbane Heat have defied the odds to become the queens of Australia by taking out the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League Championship defeating the reigning champions, the Sydney Sixers, in incredible fashion at Drummoyne Oval.
The match may not have gone down to the final ball like last week’s semi-finals, however, the match was full of drama. The Heat were cruising at 2/98 chasing 131 before a sold-out crowd inspired a Sixers comeback, forcing the Heat into panic mode with five wickets for only 28 runs.
However, the Heat remained calm to take out the crown.
The Heat would have not thought coming into the season that they could challenge for the title with Heat larikin Grace Harris admitting to broadcasters that she was “surprised they made the finals”. Pride was on the line last season when they missed the finals but remained calm throughout WBBL04 to get them into the semi-finals.
It goes to show that you don’t need the international star power to win you a game of cricket or an entire tournament. The Heat are mostly full of players that usually only play for the Queensland Fire in the WNCL and their Premier Cricket clubs aside from a few genuine guns, however, they play cricket for the right reasons.
They have a genuine passion for the sport and want women’s sport and in particular women’s cricket to flourish.
Women’s cricket has come so far in the past decade and Queensland Cricket has continued to invest to ensure that all their players have the very best chance to develop their cricket at an elite level. This was only Queensland’s second taste of Women’s T20 success after the Fire’s maiden T20 crown in 2013-14 when they defeated the ACT Meteors at the WACA Ground in Perth.
The Heat’s captain, Kirby Short, is an Assistant Principal at a Secondary school in Brisbane and was required to take some time out last week to go back to ‘school’ to prepare for students starting the new year. She may be 32 and after today’s victory has every right to retire on a high if she wishes, but she appears to not be finished yet and has plenty to give following her match-winning partnership with the player of the grand final Beth Mooney.
This victory today is also a victory for the rest of Australia. The Heat made a statement by being the first club outside Sydney to win the WBBL, even if it meant the Heat had to enter enemy territory to do so.
The Melbourne Stars are the only WBBL side not to reach the finals as yet but with the Heat winning today with a side made mostly up from state players, it will give hope to not only the Stars but every other club outside Sydney that it is possible and that it can happen. New South Wales, the Sixers and the Thunder are beatable.
The WNCL continues next week and for the first time ever, the New South Wales Breakers might miss the grand final in the 23-season history of the WNCL. Tasmania and the ACT, who are full of many young guns including Maitlan Brown and Katie Mack, are forging their own path to take on one another in the WNCL final in a few weeks’ time.
It does show how close the season of WBBL was that the Stars were the only side in WBBL04 to defeat the Sixers twice and still missed the finals. Women’s cricket in Australia is so close and provides brilliant entertainment both at the ground and on our television screens at home with the increased coverage of the female game.
Everyone in Australia and around the globe congratulates the Brisbane Heat on their incredible feat in winning the WBBL grand final for the 2018-19 season.