Despite a career spanning three decades, Alyssa Healy still struggles to deal with defeat.
“I can confirm that I don’t like to lose,” she said. “I’m a bit of a bad loser.”
Freshly announced as Australia’s T20 captain for a tour of India in December, Healy said his Sydney Sixers were refreshed and ready for a return to WBBL glory after last season ended bottom of the table.
“After a few disappointing years we are back to where we think we should be and we are playing very good cricket,” she said.
The Sixers will enter this week’s final as heavy favorites to claim their third crown, securing the hosting rights to Saturday’s decider after dominating the draw.
“Sunday it was amazing to see everyone on the hill (at North Sydney Oval),” Healy said.
“So that’s really supported us and the fact that we can play at home, I think, is a huge plus as well.”
Long regarded as the competition’s flagship club, the Sixers have missed the last three final series and struggled under COVID-19 restrictions last season.
“It was difficult at times,” Healy explained.
“Especially when the players were also struggling off the pitch.
“COVID probably took its toll and being out in hubs and bubbles and not being able to get home was definitely a big factor.”
But their rebound under new coach and England superstar Charlotte Edwards has been immense.
Their 11 wins this summer are the best for any club in a home and away season and they have been barely challenged apart from a last-ball loss to Adelaide and a Beth Mooney masterclass in Perth.
“You look at things from last year and I don’t think anyone would have disputed that we would potentially be in contention for the final,” said all-rounder Erin Burns.
“But things didn’t click. I don’t think there’s one thing you can attribute it to.”
Burns thinks the big point of difference was Edwards.
The Englishwoman took over from longtime mentor Ben Sawyer earlier this year after the New Zealand head coach led the Sixers to their first two titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
“Everyone is playing with more freedom (this year),” Burns said.
“Charlotte definitely tries to instill that in the team. She really supports our skills.”
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