Sammy-Jo Johnson has signed for the Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash to complete a pair of off-season moves following her state switch from Queensland to New South Wales.
Seam-bowling allrounder Johnson has been an integral part of the Brisbane Heat’s WBBL success with 38 wickets across their back-to-back titles of the last two seasons. She will join South Africa pace bowler Shabnim Ismail in the Thunder’s attack.
“I was really drawn to Thunder’s values,” Johnson said. “I enjoy giving back to the community and having an impact on local clubs and schools, and that’s something I’m really keen to get involved in at Thunder.
“There’s so many talented young players in the squad and I think it’s just a matter of guiding them in the right direction and ensuring they know that they can handle any situation that’s thrown at them. Even as a senior player, I’ve still got plenty to learn and I want to continue to evolve as a person and a player.”
Johnson has reached the Australia A set-up but has yet to earn an international debut. There could be vacancies for the series against New Zealand, which is scheduled to start at the end of September, depending on the progress of Ellyse Perry and Tayla Vlaeminck from the injuries they suffered at the T20 World Cup.
“I think [Australia] is the hardest team in the world to get into at the moment because they are so successful and everyone plays their role,” Johnson told ESPNcricinfo in June. “You don’t want people to get injured, but I feel like it’s your only foot in the door at the moment – which is good because you want that competition. If I can keep churning out consistent performances with the ball and bat I’m hoping going to give the selectors no reason not to pick me.”
The WBBL is set to begin on October 17 and run until November 29 although there are expected to be changes to the schedule due to the impact of Covid-19 in some parts of Australia.