HUNGER FOR SUCCESS
I like to get the most out of myself and the people I work with. Winning as a team is what it’s all about for me, having been involved in team sports from a young age. If I can contribute to team success and be as good as I can be, I feel satisfied. Apart from that, I just hate losing!
My competitive streak probably comes from growing up in a family of five kids. There was naturally a lot of competition in our household. We were all quite sporty, including Mum and Dad, and my younger sister Anna plays for the Melbourne Renegades, so we had many battles in the backyard.
Dad played plenty of club cricket, which is how I was introduced to the game. He’d watch it a lot on TV, as well, and I’d often sit on the couch with him and watch.
I think my interest in the game rose another notch when Ricky Ponting became captain. I loved watching him play. Apart from the fact that he batted at No.3, the position I’ve always loved, Ricky batted with aggression and intent. He always looked to score runs, no matter what stage he was at in his innings.
Even just listening to Ricky in commentary now, he seems to know what’s going to happen before it does, which is just incredible. He has such a great understanding of the game. I try to go about my game in a similar manner to the way Ricky did.
Cricket was one of the summer sports on offer at my school, Warrawee Public in Sydney, and I really wanted to play, even though I was the only girl. I’d always join the games at lunch time. Once we moved to Melbourne, when I began high school, I continued playing in the boys’ system, as there was no girls cricket.
It would have been nice if there were girls’ teams on offer. But, in hindsight, playing competitive cricket with boys was probably quite helpful to me. It took me out of my comfort zone mentally and sharpened up my skills.
I gained some great experience, playing against big schools like Melbourne Grammar. I must confess, I enjoyed those Friday afternoon games, too, because they allowed me to miss a bit of school.
Cricket’s been an enormous part of my life ever since and captaining the Australian team is a great honour. But I’ve tried to keep things as balanced as possible. I’ve done some study along the way, in exercise and health science, and I take a keen interest in the Swans in the AFL each winter.
Away from sport, when I have down time, I enjoy catching up with people outside of the game. Often, they don’t know much about what’s happening for me in cricket and I think that’s a good thing. It keeps you involved in normal life.
As an athlete, you live in the bubble, as they call it – and it’s very true. So, my spare time is about settling into a regular life rhythm and being around people who keep me grounded.
Time out is important. But our job now is to switch on for our final task of the summer. We’ve got three ODIs against New Zealand, in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, starting from Friday.
Up for grabs is the Rose Bowl, which we’ve held since 1999. We definitely don’t want to let that go. Hopefully, we’ll bring in some more good crowds, play some good cricket and finish off really well.
It’s been a great year of growth for the women’s game. Cricket’s been leading the way for some time now and it’s nice to see some other sports following suit. We call ourselves fulltime cricketers now, which we couldn’t do five years ago.
When you bring all that together, it adds another layer to a really special season for the Australian team. Being able to turn the disappointment of the 2017 World Cup into an unforgettable win at the World Twenty20 is something I’ll treasure for a long time to come.