Tahlia Wilson entered the cricket season with two goals. The first to play for the NSW Breakers and the second to represent the Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League.
The Albion Park resident ticked off the first item on her to-do list last month and, with the WBBL now underway, she’s hopeful the second is not too far away either.
Having scored a pair of half-centuries in trials played in front of her friends and family at North Dalton Park just a few weeks ago, Wilson is in form and firmly in the frame to make her debut in the coming weeks.
“It was definitely an honour to play for the Breakers,” Wilson said. “It was a special moment for myself and my family.
“To play a game for the Sixers is definitely at top of the list now. All I can do is keep trying to work hard, play the best cricket I can and put the case forward.
“Further from that, I want to keep learning from the experienced girls in the group. The more I can be around them and learning from them, it’s invaluable for my development.”
The successful start to the summer marks a far cry from the days Wilson spent playing in the Albion Park boys cricket side and she credits much of her success to the opportunities now provided to female cricket players.
Her first year out of school, Wilson has had the opportunity to train full-time with the NSW Women’s squad throughout the winter.
In that time, the 19-year-old has seen both her batting and wicketkeeping progress to a level where she now feels comfortable playing against the country’s top players.
“Last season I was part of the Breakers while still at school, which made it a bit tougher. Having a full season to prepare myself has really helped me improve my game.
“The last two seasons I’ve been in the Sixers train-on squad, which shows that putting in that time around elite athletes has helped me develop my game.”
A commerce student at the University of Wollongong, Wilson is eager to continue learning from her more experienced peers as she continues her quest to achieve the third goal on her list, to represent her country.
Playing for a NSW side that has won 12 of the last 13 Women’s National Cricket Leagues and contracted to the Sixers as they chase a third-straight WBBL title, Wilson feels she has some of the best teammates in the world to learn from.
“I see the likes of Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry playing for Australia and I aspire to be like them one day. The more time I can spend in a professional environment learning from those players. the better it will be for my development.”
Still living in Albion Park, Wilson credits the time playing alongside the boys as helping her develop her game. However, she’s excited by the opportunities now available to girls wanting to play cricket in the Illawarra.
“There have been so many changes, locally we have a girls Sixers league up and running. I can’t wait to see what the difference is in another 10 years.”