Sydney Sixers re-sign Jackson Bird
Experienced seamer Jackson Bird has signed a new two-year deal to remain with the Sydney Sixers, filling the last spot in the defending champion’s 18-player squad for KFC BBL|11.
The Tasmanian-based veteran of nine Tests for Australia, was part of both squads that claimed back-to-back BBL titles across the last two seasons, however the 34-year-old, revealed why he had an extra reason to celebrate last February's decider at the SCG .
“That was my first title I've been on the field to win as a professional cricketer, so that was something really special towards the back end of last season after a pretty tough BBL campaign on the road,” Bird said.
“I feel like my performances over the last two years have been pretty solid, so I’m pretty stoked that the Sixers want me around for another two years.”
Bird returned to the Sixers for his second stint with the club in 2019, after one season with the Melbourne Stars, who he had also played for during the first four years of the Big Bash.
BBL|11 will be his sixth as a Sixer as the men in magenta seek to make it three in a row.
Bird hails from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and after moving to the Apple Isle at a young age, he's now a leader of the Tasmanian attack in Sheffield Shield and One Day cricket.
He has taken 414 wickets with the red ball at the first class level plus 102 across the T20 and 50-over formats.
Sydney Sixers List Manager Lisa Sthalekar said that type of experience was invaluable to any squad and his signature keeps the core group together from the last two title wins, including captain Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, James Vince, Stephen O’Keefe and Jordan Silk.
“To be able to regain the services of Jackson is a huge bonus and it means the Sixers are in a really good shape retaining the majority of their players from last year,” Sthalekar said.
“He gives us that experience with the new ball, upfront. He can also bowl in the powerplay.
“The experiences he’s had at the next level for Australia, albeit not as much as he would have liked, also really does help players know what to do in difficult situations and I think that’s really important.
“And he’s a good bloke.”
Bird admitted that he felt nervous when he returned to the Sixers fold two-years ago because he didn’t perform to his own expectations during his first stint in magenta.
But he needn’t have been concerned.
“The way the boys welcomed me back in, I couldn’t have asked for much more. It makes being able to perform on the field a lot easier knowing that you’ve got that support from your teammates,” Bird said.
Bird and the Sixers begin their BBL|11 campaign with the first match of the season scheduled for Sunday, December 5, at the SCG.