Whilst for many Sydney-siders the persistent rain over the last week has come as a surprise, for Tammy Beaumont, one of the Sydney Thunder’s newest recruits for WBBL06, the rain seems all too familiar.
“I haven’t played a game in Sydney this year,” said Beaumont.
Despite the pandemic impacting international travel significantly, Beaumont’s arrival in Sydney for the WBBL was her second visit to Australia this year. Beaumont was a key part of the England Women’s Cricket team that came to contest the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in February and March and unfortunately, for the English team, their campaign was brought to a devastating halt by the rain.
After making the semi-finals and finishing second in their pool behind South Africa, England’s semi-final showdown against India was abandoned due to rain. Because India was the highest-ranking team, India automatically progressed.
“Even Rachael Haynes said to me that it was the only time in her life she had ever felt sorry for an English person,” said Beaumont.
“That’s high empathy right there.”
Even though the rain also disrupted the opening weekend of the WBBL, Beaumont is excited about the opportunity to play with the Thunder this year after coming across from the Melbourne Renegades for many reasons.
The prospect of leaving England to do a 14-day quarantine in a hotel and then move into a bubble was certainly daunting, but for Beaumont, the opportunity to play some cricket and play for a club like the Thunder was a significant drawcard.
“I really like what the Thunder are about as a club. The club is passionate about involving the whole community and having a diverse group of people involved,” said Beaumont.
“It’s not just about what happens on the pitch. It is about being a good person away from it too and that is always something that I have tried to do in my own life.
“Their offer was too tempting to pass up.”
As was the opportunity to be coached by Trevor Griffin. This is the first time Beaumont has been coached by Griffin although, had the Hundred gone ahead, she would have been part of his team.
“Until now, I have known Trevor as the annoying coach that kept winning things in the KIA Super League,” said Beaumont.
“But now I have an insight into why his teams have been so successful. He is quite chilled, but at the same time really cares about his players.
“He was checking on me in quarantine all the time and making sure that I had everything I needed. I think that is really good when a coach not only bats you but cares for how you are as a person.”
Another exciting opportunity for Beaumont is the chance to open the batting for the Thunder. The Thunder are one of the squads that have had significant changes over the off-season. There were a couple of retirements, including the likes of Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell and a few departures including Naomi Stalenberg, Lisa Griffith and Rachel Priest.
These departures meant there was a spot at the top of the order, the spot where Beaumont feels most comfortable, especially now given that she is opening the batting for England again.
“Opening the batting is something that I had been doing for England a couple of years ago and then for whatever reason I ended up at three and elsewhere, so this was just a good opportunity,” said Beaumont.
“When the Thunder told me that’s where they wanted me to bat, it was good for me to have that continuity in what I do in international cricket and what I do in the WBBL.”
Whilst it can be daunting to join a new club, for Beaumont, the opportunity to be in a village with all the players has given her the chance to get to know her Thunder teammates.
“You know you are starting to fit in when the team is taking the mickey out of you every five minutes,” said Beaumont.
“There are a few in-jokes and I feel like I have made some new friends already.”
Beaumont is yet to get a nickname, even though her fellow English teammate Heather Knight has, but surely that isn’t far away.
Much has been made of the youth in the Sydney Thunder squad this year. Whilst there is plenty of experience including the likes of Beaumont, Knight and Rachael Haynes, there are eight players aged 20 years or younger. Beaumont is also looking forward to working with these players.
“It was something really appealing about the Thunder; that opportunity to be a good influence and show the group the behaviours of an international cricketer,” said Beaumont.
“But I try not to call them youngsters or young, because they are here on merit and deserve respect because of that.
“They are just like the rest of us and I want to make sure I treat them just like any of my other teammates.
“I might be getting on at 29, but it has been great to get to know the younger players. I feel younger already.”