I had a moment on the bus this morning. I was sitting there, listening to Taylor Swift and thinking about all the items on my list this weekend – finish Christmas shopping. Do podcast. Get some sleep.
And then I remembered that Sydney Thunder Fan Day is happening this weekend! Sydney Thunder Fan Day is one of my favourite days of the year. It’s always on at a time when the season is still very fresh for the WBBL team and the BBL team has not yet played a game. At this point in the season, anything is possible and there is a whole season of cricket ahead. The possibility of both the men’s and women’s team going back to back is very much still alive.
I also love seeing kids so enthused about sport and getting the chance to meet their favourite players. The WBBL has also meant that kids are now also lining up to meet their female sporting heroes like Alex Blackwell and Stefanie Taylor. The WBBL has really been a game-changer in this regard.
Truth be told, it’s not only kids that get really excited about meeting their favourite players – I still do too.
Last year, all I wanted was to meet Michael Hussey. I knew it would be his last year in the Big Bash and he was always a player I had tremendous respect for, particularly since he waited so long to make his debut for Australia and then, almost instantly, became an overnight sensation. He captained the Sydney Thunder last year with such integrity and commitment and it was a pretty special moment when I finally got to meet Mr. Cricket last year.
This year, you are probably all wondering who I can’t wait to meet and I surprised myself, because this year I am most looking forward to meeting a player in the WBBL team. The player I want to meet reminded me how much enjoyment women’s sport has given me this year and how passionate I am about making sure that our female athletes get the opportunities and accolades that they deserve. With Cricket Australia’s commitment to the WBBL, the announcement of the professionalization of the NSW Breakers earlier this year and the announcement of pay rises for our female cricketers by Cricket Australia – we are well on the way.
I will not be leaving Sydney Thunder Fan Day on Sunday morning without meeting Maisy Gibson. Because truth be told, I am absolutely ‘crazy for Maisy’.
Maisy is leg-spinner and comes from the Hunter region in NSW. She was the first woman to play first-grade cricket for Maitland and went to Sri Lanka in 2015 as part of the Cricket NSW Female Development squad. Maisy was also part of the NSW Breakers team that defeated the Queensland Fire 2 weekends ago to win their 18th WNCL title. With figures of 2-14 off nine overs, Maisy was a stand-out bowler on the day.
But it’s not just what Maisy does on the field that makes me love her. At 20 years old, Maisy’s path to representing her state and the Sydney Thunder has not come easy – she had 2 knee reconstructions last year alone. It’s taken tremendous courage for Maisy to come back from this and I’m really hopeful that she stays injury free for the remainder of this WBBL season so you can all see what she can do.
Not only is Maisy a fighter, but she is also a real character.
Earlier this year in WBBL01, when Maisy Gibson got Danielle Wyatt from the Melbourne Renegades out, she shimmied. This wicket celebration is something Maisy has become renowned for and it’s called the ‘Maisy Shimmy’.
From what I understand, this is also Maisy’s favourite time of the year – not just because the WBBL is on, but because Maisy LOVES Christmas. Her Instagram has plenty of snaps of her decorating the Christmas tree, making gingerbread houses and best of all, sporting fabulous Christmas socks.
Some other things Maisy really likes are fruit (particularly watermelon), cats and socks. I’ve included some pictures as proof.
So Maisy, be prepared because on Sunday I’m coming to find you to say hello. I can’t wait to see you star in WBBL01 and hopefully the whole crowd will be shimmy-ing along with you!
Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer and proud founder of Ladies Who Legspin – a community of female bloggers who love sport. If you’re looking for Mary on the weekend generally you’ll find her on the sidelines cheering on the Sydney Thunder, Parramatta Eels, Sydney Swans and GWS Giants.