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WBBL 2020-21 – Grace Harris admits to bubble frustrations for Brisbane Heat

Grace Harris has admitted that the challenges of the WBBL bubble are proving difficult for the defending champions Brisbane Heat, but she will take it upon herself to try and lift the team’s spirits after they gained just one win from their first seven matches.

Harris made an unbeaten 81 against the Melbourne Stars on Sunday, but the Heat fell well short in their chase of 178 after a middle-order collapse left them 6 for 77.

Throughout the tournament, which is being played entirely in Sydney, all the teams are staying in a hotel at Sydney’s Olympic Park which has been turned into a “WBBL village”. Though every effort has been made to provide entertainment and activities for players away from matches, Harris said that it has been difficult to switch off from the game.

ALSO READ: WBBL mid-term report – Melbourne Stars flying high, Brisbane Heat hat-trick long way off

“I just want the girls to stay really positive,” she said. “I think there’s a bit of frustration in our little bubble because the hub is a different kind of living environment but we’ve just got to try and refresh, put the loss to the back of our minds. Coming from Queensland we were already out and about, so for us, it’s a little bit more restrictive and a bit of a wake-up.

“We are struggling a little just to switch off outside of cricket, you do miss your little routines from home, but the circumstances are this, so I think it’s simply the team that adapts best.

“If you hit that wall, you have to accept the environment and what you are doing, stay focused and stay in the present. Hopefully, we can look on the brighter side of things because losing like this [against the Stars] is a little deflating and you get down sometimes about this kind of game, but I’m going to try and get around the girls this afternoon and tonight, we’ll chill out and then get ready to go.”

The Heat came into the competition aiming for a hat-trick of titles but, after opening with victory against the Perth Scorchers, they have not clicked and have suffered four substantial defeats in a row to leave them seventh on the points table heading into the second half of the group stage.

“The table is still pretty tight, we aren’t out of it yet,” Harris said. “I want the girls to look forward to the next challenge and be up and about because we are very close. It only takes one win and you can gain a little bit of momentum in this tournament, so rolling through the back end, if we get on the board next game, look out, because we could be on from there.”

On her return to opening the batting, having started the tournament in the middle order, Harris revealed it was not a reaction to the tough target set by the Stars and had been decided before the game. She does not know if it will continue but is ready to take on any role.

“I knew before we started the game that I’d be opening the batting. We are just trying to find our best combinations, see who works well together, and I guess if I didn’t run out JJ [Jess Jonassen], it might have been a different scenario. I’ve been training for all scenarios, so it doesn’t really bother me. Just trying to be adaptable and know what the team needs.”

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