Lismore’s Sammy Jo back in blue
TAKING on a leadership role for the NSW Breakers is a definite plus for Queensland and Brisbane Heat pace bowler Sammy-Jo Johnson.
The Lismore born right-hand quick said she’s delighted to be returning to her home state after nine years with the Queensland Fire – and being able to help develop and nurture some up-and-coming bowlers is as thrilling as it is taking wickets.
With a record that includes claiming 39 Women’s National Cricket League wickets at an average of 27, Johnsons’s accurate seam bowling and power hitting were also integral to the Brisbane Heat’s successive Women’s Big Bash League titles over the past two seasons.
After signing with the NSW Breakers, Johnson, 27, said it’s going to be an exhilarating time ahead with a young and exciting squad.
The team includes quick Emma Hughes, 19, and sensational top order batter Anika Learoyd, 18, among the 17 players contracted for the 2020/21 Breakers team that has previously won 20 of the 24 WNCL titles.
“I’m so excited,” she said.
Head coach Dom Thornely said with the retirement of Breakers greats Sarah Aley and Rene Farrell, Johnson provides valuable experience for a squad including eight players under 20, making it one of the youngest on record.
Thornley said Johnson has been chosen to make up for the loss of experienced players Rene Farrell and Sarah Aley.
“We have brought in Sammy-Jo Johnson to replace some of that experience and all-round talent,” he said.
Johnson said she can't wait to get in among the players.
“There’s some fantastic young bowling talent there,” Johnson said.
“If I can step up and lead the bowling from the front with ball, the possibilities are awesome.
“I’m a Lismore girl and played all my underage Pathway cricket with NSW, so it feels a bit like I’m coming home, growing up Brett Lee was one of my heroes, I wanted to run fast and bowl like him.”
NSW Breakers 2020-21 squad
Alyssa Healy (c)*
- Cricket Australia contracted