England's Issy Wong joins Sydney Thunder for title defence
Sydney Thunder is proud to announce Issy Wong, one of England’s most exciting up-and-coming fast bowlers, will join the club for its title defence during the Weber WBBL|07 season.
The 19-year-old has been recruited to replace pace ace Shabnim Ismail - the Player of the Match in last summer’s victorious BBL Final - after she injured her knee during South Africa’s tour of the West Indies.
Wong, who is a member of the England national team’s training squad, was preparing to go on holiday to Sicily when she received the “super exciting” offer to play for Thunder.
“It was a no-brainer,” the right-arm fast bowler said of cancelling her vacation. “When you get such an opportunity you can’t say ‘no’ to it.
“This really is a great opportunity for me. I’m still very young, and to have this sort of exposure, and in such a respected league as the WBBL, is super-exciting.
“I’m grateful to Sydney Thunder for putting their faith in me and giving me this opportunity.”
Wong, who was a member of the England squad that toured New Zealand last summer, said Thunder fans could expect a player who leaves nothing on the pitch.
“I play an exciting brand of cricket, I’m always looking to take the positive option,” she said. “I play with passion; I wear my heart on my sleeve when I’m out on the pitch.”
The teenager said she’d also embrace the challenge of having to perform in the pressure-cooker situations the WBBL is renowned for producing.
“I’ve found I always play at my best when I’m enjoying my cricket, so I always try to have a smile on my face,” said Wong. “I try to enjoy those pressure moments, because it is a privilege to be playing in those situations.
“It’s something I look to enjoy. I always look to take the positive option, and to be brave. Sometimes it just doesn’t come off. However, I think if I’m positive in my decision it comes down to execution.
“I don’t like to sit in the change rooms afterwards and think, ‘I wish I tried this’, or ‘I wish I’d gone for that’. I don’t like to leave anything out there.”
Wong said she was excited to have the chance to play under Thunder’s Trevor Griffin, who she described as a “proper” coach.
“You’ve just got to look at his record to see he is one of the best in the business,” she said. “He’s obviously a winner, he’s won a Super League [in England] with Western Storm, and he won the WBBL with Sydney Thunder.
“Trevor is a proper coach, and I’m really looking forward to working with him and picking his brain.”
Griffin described Wong as a tremendous addition to Thunder’s roster, and one who’d have no problem at all fitting in with her new teammates.
“Issy is a quick bowler who wants to bowl fast,” said Griffin. “What I like about her is apart from the fact she wants to bowl fast; she always wants to make an impact on the game.
“That means she wants the ball, she can bowl at the different phases of the game, whether that’s the power play, the middle phase, or at the death. She can also come into bat and hit a long ball if that’s needed as well.”
Cricket NSW Head of Female Cricket Leah Poulton said Thunder targeted Wong as Ismail’s replacement was because of the firepower she’ll add to the club’s attack.
“The reason why we went for Issy when Shabnim told us she wouldn’t be able to come out this summer is because she brings that same attitude of aggression and pace,” said Poulton.
“The first time I saw Issy play was when I coached Australia A. She represented England A, and really impressed me. I’ve had my eye on her development over the last few years, and she has that raw pace that people will find exciting.”
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