Newcastle cricketer Samantha Bates set to make a move on WBBL title defence

Samantha Bates

Samantha Bates

Samantha Bates was just going about her normal business, preparing for the upcoming WBBL campaign, when an earthquake struck Melbourne on Wednesday.

The Novocastrian cricketer, still with the Sydney Thunder but having switched state teams from Tasmania to Victoria in the off-season, made a quick dash outside.

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"I was just at home and thought it was windy, but I looked outside and it wasn't windy and the floor was shaking," Bates told the Newcastle Herald.

"I thought I better get out. Luckily I'm on the ground floor and just went out into the courtyard."

Bates, who now lives just "300 metres away" from her new home ground Junction Oval in St Kilda, leaves lockdown on Friday as the Thunder prepare to defend their WBBL title from last summer.

The 25-year-old will undergo a fortnight of COVID quarantine before the national women's T20 competition begins in Tasmania on October 14.

In similar hub-like situation to Sydney last year, at least the opening 20 matches will be played between Hobart and Launceston.

"There was a fair bit of time there where we didn't think we'd even get a WBBL season in, which was pretty disappointing" she said.

"It's hard training knowing that there might not be any point, so it's exciting we're getting the chance to play.

"I think the girls are looking forward to having a bit of freedom as well, there's been a lot of talk about haircuts and simple things we can't do here at the moment."

First up the Thunder meet Adelaide on October 16 before clashes with cross-city rivals the Sixers, Perth and Melbourne sides the Stars and Renegades over a five-day period (October 23-27).

"It's a different kind of situation being the hunted group. Last year is still a bit of blur, in the sense of being underdogs and somehow managing to win it," Bates, who had minor ankle surgery earlier this year, said.

The left-arm orthodox spinner will be joined at the Thunder in 2021 by fellow Newcastle product Corinne Hall, having recently signed for the franchise after six seasons with the Hobart Hurricanes.

Australia's summer of cricket officially got underway on Tuesday with four of Bates' Victorian teammates - Meg Lanning, Elyse Perry, Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux - part of the women's ODI win over India in Mackay.

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This story Bates set to make a move on WBBL title defence first appeared on Newcastle Herald.