After a decent break from the Indian Tour the Commonwealth Banks Southern Stars are back into the swing of things gearing up for what is to be a massive 7 months. With 2 World Cups on offer, our first focus is the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Since our last tour there have been a few changes within the group. Richard McInnes resigned and our Assistant Coach, Catherine Fitzpatrick has taken the reins. Fitzy has been involved with the group for the last few years and her vast experience as player has ensured a smooth transition. Clea Smith has retired from cricket after a wonderful career, which spanned a decade and Tracey Scott (who has been our manager for this tour) stepping in as the HP Manager. Other than that it was the usual crew with Russell looking forward to actually training us in a pre-season…somehow I am not too convinced that I am going to like his sessions.
First stop was Melbourne for our annual admin camp and true to form the usual suspects were there: headshots, CA policies, drugs in sport, CATV. One bonus however was that as a playing group we were able to spend some time with Belinda Clark and CEO of CA James Sutherland. It was great to get an opportunity to ask the people in the right places questions regarding women’s cricket and discuss how we can all play a role in promoting this great game of CRICKET!
Spending time in Melbourne threw a spanner in the works as our packing consisted of training gear, shorts and shirts plus the odd item required for the heat of Sri Lanka. However, thanks to Melbourne’s single digit temperatures, a jumper also had to be added to cope. Surprisingly it wasn’t too bad but by the time we hit the airport on Thursday we were all set to escape the cold.
After 8 hours to Singapore, a quick transit and another 3.5 hours flight we arrived in Colombo with the local time being midnight. There were a few of us that tried to remain awake the whole time so that we could crash when we arrived. That only made us sillier and I believe Ellyse Perry (Pez) commented “is this what it is like to be drunk,” poor Pez we really need to take her out!
Our local liaison officer Anjun was bright eyed and full of excitement as he greeted us. Pez and Alyssa Healy (Midge) and I took our usual spots up the back of the bus and proceeded to try and learn a few of the basic phrases we may need whilst we are here. Not sure if we have mastered them however, given that we still have to repeat them a number of times before we get the desired outcome.
A late check in (try 2am) and our first light session within 7 hours meant that everyone hit the hay pretty soon. Unfortunately I was up by 5am…damn time difference.
Until next time… I will try and give more of an idea of this place and how we are coping with the conditions.