Touching Guard Of Honour For Retiring WBBL And Australian Legends

Sydney Thunder players Alex Blackwell and Rene Farrell were given a touching guard of honour as they left the field after their final WBBL match.

Thunder played Melbourne Renegades in the final round of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) on Saturday, during a double-header at Junction Oval in Melbourne.

The Sydney side were defeated by 29 runs in their final match.

As the former Australian players left the field for the final time, their teammates were joined by the Renegades, as well as the Melbourne Stars and the Brisbane -- who were playing next -- in a guard of honour.

The pair shared an emotional hug before making their way down the lines of players, shaking each hand as they walked along.

Alex Blackwell of Sydney Thunder batting during the WBBL match against the Melbourne Renegades. Image: AAP

Blackwell made her Test debut with the Australian side in 2003, and has since played 251 games in all three formats in an international career spanning 15 years.

Scoring more than 5,000 runs for her country, Blackwell is Australia's most capped women's  international player.

When Australia first formed their Twenty20 team in 2005, Blackwell was given cap number one.

In 2010, Blackwell was named captain of the Australian side for the Twenty20 World Cup after Jodie Fields was ruled out with injury. Blackwell led Australia to World Cup victory, also putting in a player of the match performance with the bat in the semi-final against India.

Rene Farrell of Sydney Thunder bowling during the WBBL match against the Melbourne Renegades. Image: AAP

Farrell played 101 games for Australia, and was a prodigious swinger of the ball as she took 114 wickets across all formats.

The 32-year-old played in the 2013 one-day World Cup triumph, as well as the 2010 and 2014 World T20 wins.

She has also taken 79 wickets in 66 WBBL games for Sydney Thunder.

Kristen Beams of Melbourne Stars bowling during the WBBL match against the Brisbane Heat. Image: AAP

After the second match of the day, between the Star and Heat, Kristen Beams called stumps on her career as well.

Beams didn't make her international debut until age 30 in 2014, but went on to play 49 games for her country across all formats.

At the time, the call-up was a significant reward for the legspinner who had spent more than a decade tossing the ball up for Victoria.

The 35-year-old finished with 62 wickets for Australia across all formats after her last game in 2017, before spending time as the Stars captain.

Beams was also celebrated with a guard of honour following her side's eight wicket loss to the Heat.

"I've loved the last five years with the Melbourne Stars and being part of the Stars family," Beams said.

"To see the WBBL grow from the first year of competition to what it is now has been a fantastic journey.

"I'd like to thank the Melbourne Stars for their support. I'm really proud of the club and what it represents, and I wish them well for the future."

With AAP. 

Feature Image: Cricket Network/ Fox Sports