While she loves cricket, Erin Burns is the first to admit that she isn't great at watching the game. The Wollongong all-rounder missed all of the last Women's Big Bash League campaign after opting to stay home and support her pregnant wife Anna. It forced Burns to watch on from outside the playing group, which was frustrating, as the Sydney franchise finished at the foot of the ladder. However, following the safe arrival of her son Jack in January, Burns is now ready to don the magenta again when the Sixers start their WBBL campaign against the Heat on Thursday night. Read more: Illawarra Sports Awards will celebrate region's achievements, dedication "Last season was not ideal, and not being able to be involved was pretty frustrating. But our manager laid out all the kits this week, and even the sight of magenta made my little heart go pitter patter," Burns told the Mercury. "I think the break taught me how to operate on much less sleep, so maybe it's increased my efficiency," she said with a laugh. "But I've always enjoyed playing and training, and being involved with the game, but I've also enjoyed also stepping away from it and have some time away from cricket. It's helped me to keep fresh and have that hunger to give everything when we play. "To have a little fella nipping around the heels is a good thing to come home to, and have time with him and the family, before blowing out the cobwebs and getting back into it come game day." Read more: Smith prepares to lead new era for under 23s at South Coast Blaze Burns is set to be a welcome addition to the Sixers' set-up, adding much-needed experience to a young side. The 34-year-old is likely to bat somewhere between four and six in the order, while she also provides handy off-spin and is good in the field. Despite the side claiming the wooden spoon last season, Burns is bullish about a quick turnaround. "My preference is always batting in the middle order, but whatever the team needs is what I'll try do. We've got a super talented list with a decent crop of oldies and exciting young, so I'm here for the fun really," she said. "Based on our list last year, you can't argue that we didn't have the talent to go all the way. But it's just the way it was. They showed glimpses of what they're capable of, so it's more about consistency now. And some fresh eyes and energy around with the young girls, as well as the coaching staff's point of view, will help to pick up a bit of that drive again. "But I don't think we're too far off, which sounds a bit of a stretch when we finished as wooden spooners. I back our squad in every day of the week, so hopefully we can put two innings of 20 overs together more than now. If we do that, we'll go a long way to winning the trophy." Read more: Wilson finds top gear ahead of Women's Big Bash League However, Burns won't be the only Illawarra talent vying for success in the WBBL. Albion Park wicketkeeper-batter Tahlia Wilson is gearing up for her fifth campaign, having played one season for the Sixers before joining the Thunder in 2019. The 22-year-old enters this season in great touch after scoring her maiden domestic century (101 off 127 deliveries) for NSW last week. "I know I can go through the gears if I need to strike the boundary a bit more, and I know what areas I can go to now," Wilson said. "But, if for some reason, my job is to get the other batter on strike, I know how I can do that as well, so it's about being adaptable to the situation I'm in." We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Illawarra Mercury website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here. To read more stories, download the Illawarra Mercury news app in the Apple Store or Google Play.