New South Wales all-rounder Hannah Darlington has been dealt a “devastating” injury setback ahead of Breakers’ WNCL season opener, ruling her out of the first half of the Women’s Big Bash League.
The 20-year-old cricket prodigy suffered the injury following a “freak accident” during the final stages of pre-season and will be required to undergo surgery on the meniscus of her left knee on Monday.
The Sydney Thunder young gun is expected to return during the second half of the upcoming WBBL, which gets underway in October.
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Speaking at North Sydney Oval on Friday afternoon, Darlington revealed she sustained the knee injury during an early morning net session in Canberra, where she was attending the National Leadership Forum alongside Breakers teammate Lauren Cheatle.
“It was genuinely a freak accident actually,” she told news.com.au.
“Just had a little bit of a fall while bowling, didn’t actually hit the ground … in quite a lot of pain straight away.
“I knew something was wrong – I tried to walk it off and couldn’t walk.
“To have that happen down there was pretty devastating … to have to go home early was a bit of a bummer.”
Darlington, who captained the Thunder last season, made her international debut for Australia last summer, becoming the third Indigenous cricketer to play for the national women’s cricket team, taking 2/29 against India in Mackay.
She has taken 51 scalps at 18.29 for the Thunder in the WBBL, the second-highest wicket tally in the club’s history.
However, Darlington’s frustrating setback opened the door for uncontracted teenager Ebony Hoskin to make her WNCL debut against Queensland at North Sydney Oval.
The right-armer claimed a wicket with her first delivery for the Breakers, removing opener Georgia Redmayne for 6 in the final over of the Powerplay, with wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy taking a brilliant catch behind the stumps.
Hoskin later dismissed Queensland batters Charlie Knott and Grace Harris in quick succession to give herself figures of 3/13 after five overs.
“It gives me goosebumps actually,” Darlington said.
“(Hoskin) has worked so hard, she’s definitely one of the characters in our group.
“To see her celebration, I don’t think she actually knew what to do.
“Now she’s out there proving she deserves that spot.
“Very proud to see a fellow quick start off like that.”