‘Sore loser’ Healy eager for WBBL glory

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Despite a career spanning three decades, Alyssa Healy still struggles with handling defeat.

“I can confirm I don’t like losing,” she said. “I’m a bit of a sore loser.”

Fresh off her announcement as Australia’s T20 captain to tour India in December, Healy said Sydney Sixers are refreshed and ready for a return to WBBL glory after last season’s bottom-of-the-table finish.

“After a disappointing couple of years, we’re back where we feel like we should be and playing some really good cricket,” she said.

Sixers will enter this week’s finals as firm favourites to win their third crown, earning hosting rights to Saturday’s decider after topping the table.

“Sunday was amazing to see all the people on the hill [at North Sydney Oval],” Healy said. “So that’s really buoyed us and the fact that we can play at home I think is a huge advantage as well.”

Long-regarded as the competition’s marquee club, Sixers missed the past three finals series and struggled under last season’s Covid-19 restrictions.

“It was challenging at times,” Healy reflected. “Especially when players were struggling off the field as well. Covid probably took its toll and being away in hubs and bubbles and not being able to come home was definitely a big factor.”

But their bounce back under new coach and England superstar Charlotte Edwards has been immense.

Their 11 wins this summer is the most of any club in a home-and-away season and they were barely challenged outside of 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 finals,” allrounder Erin Burns said.  “But things didn’t click. I don’t think there is any one thing you can put it down to.”

Burns feels the big point of difference has been Edwards. She took over from long-time 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 just playing with more freedom [this year],” Burns said. “Charlotte definitely tries to instil that in the team. She really backs our skills.”

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