World T20 build up hits fever pitch – literally!

Since the awards night I have been living the life of a professional cricketer. What does that entail? Not a hell of a lot except training!

My day would consist of either a gym/cardio session, then training in the afternoon. It was great having Midge here as we would travel before the men’s team and have full access to the nets and net bowlers. When we weren’t training, however, there wasn’t a lot to do. I had plenty of downtime, which was nice at the start, but after a while you just crave company.

I jumped at the chance when Ian Chappell invited me out for dinner. Midge had been struck down with the mystery illness that was sweeping its way across all the men’s teams and I didn’t want to eat alone.

It was a great night with plenty of old stories being told about the characters within the game and just how it was back then. Unfortunately, I took a turn for the worse and soon after dinner I started to feel a little sick. I got up to go to the bathroom but didn’t make it very far before I fainted.

Thankfully, we were at the Cricketers Club and the owners were Australian. Gabby was a gem as I was hoisted up onto a chair by the staff with her shouting out things that I needed brought to me. For the next 10 minutes, or at least that is what it felt like, she held my head as I was still feeling like I was going to pass out. The other strange thing was that I was sweating it up. It was like I was doing another session in the heat!

Once my colour had come back, I excused myself from dinner. The next few hours were spent either waking up in a sweat or freezing, meaning I had a very restless night, but by morning I felt ok and was able to have some toast.

That day Midge and I moved to the team hotel, the Galadari, where we also stayed during the training camp. It was great to see the rest of the Southern Stars, plus it also meant when I was bored I could easily find someone to talk to!

Now that the team had arrived we had full police escort everywhere we travelled. Even when we went for dinner there was a big group of police to follow us. The funniest thing was when we went for a walk as a team along the beach to the Galle Face Hotel, we still had two police cars and an ambulance following at the same pace and holding up traffic!

As I write this, it is the morning of our first match against India. It has felt like a long time coming, maybe because we have already been here and feel like we have been preparing for a long time. Everyone is keen and ready.

We did play a practice match against West Indies which certainly wasn’t all the one way and as I have mentioned before, they are definite contenders for the trophy. They have already managed to beat NZ in their first match.

Even though we won the match, the coaches thought that we would play a super over and I was the lucky bowler. I managed to bowl all my deliveries to Dottin ( the biggest hitter of the ball in the women’s game) and when my first delivery went for 6, I knew that this was going to be a massive challenge. In the end I went for 18. Shelley (Nitschke) still holds the record with 19 from her Super Over, but it was a great way to ensure that I never bowl one again hehehe….

The only other news is that ICC, with Reliance, decided to bring in the rankings for women T20 players and I seemed to fall on the right side, being ranked as the number one allrounder and bowler. It is a great initiative and again allows females players to be showing casing their skills on the International stage. Also, it is great to see so many Aussies up there with 4 of our bowlers ranked within the top 10.

Anyway, I should get ready for our first match. Hopefully my next blog will be full of wins!!

Wadrobe Malfunctions…#cricket

After an all to breif detour via the Maldives, we finally made it to Colombo for the ICC Awards!

The day of the ICC Awards was spent running around making sure that I had everything sorted for the night, as well as finding what I needed to stay connected to the people back home, ie a SIM card and internet connection! We also had to check out of one hotel to move into the place where we’ll stay until the rest of the Commowealth Bank Southern Stars arrive.

Everywhere you look there is the who’s who of International cricket. From the umpires, ICC officials to the actual rock stars – any cricket cricket mad fan would be in heaven!

With a few hours to go to the awards I needed to get my hair done so I was thankful to know that Harry Solomons (Kingsgrove Cricket God) had a brother, Gerald, who owned a hair salon in Colombo called Chargall.

Both men are extremely generous so if you need to get cricket gear in Australia, head to Kingsgrove Sports and if you need your hair and/or nails done in Colombo, head to Chargall. Both I can highly recommend!

With my hair done to perfection I then went about trying to put a face on. With an hour to go I thought that it would be wise to try on the dress, however, as I was zipping up, the zip suddenly began to move with ease and I felt the cold air hit my open back. Holy smokes! The zip was broken!

After attempting to try and fix it myself to no avail, I had to seek help. With only 30 mins before out departure, I hurried down to the Duty Manager who found a lovely man who spoke no English. I left it in their capable hands as I rushed upstairs to finish getting ready.

A knock on the door with five minutes to spare was met with panic as it was Midge and Mitch Starc greeting me. The dress hadn’t come back yet but only a few moments later, my mate came up with the goods!

I would like to thank Mandy Heng for dressing me again. She makes lovely dresses and I highly suggest having a look at her website, ladies, if you are after a stunning dress http://www.mandyheng.com

Image

On arrival at the event, Mitch slipped through whilst Midge and I walked down the longest red carpet that I have ever seen. The actual awards night was good. It was fairly quick seeing as the boys had training and matches the next day.

It was lovely to see Enid Bakewell inducted into the Hall of Fame and steal the show away from the great Brian Lara. Congratulations to both the Taylors on winning their respective awards as they had an exceptional year in both formats. I just hope that they remain quiet throughout this tournament J

Our first cricket session took place whilst we watched the boys play their warm-up match against England. With a net set up sepcifically for us we were set to get some volumn in.

Typical of the wickets here, it was low and slow and it only took Midge over an hour to feel comfortable in the nets. For a moment I thought that I was throwing to Karen Rolton, lucky I can still feel my shoulder.

After our session we watched the Aussie boys chase down the total and it was great to see Mike Hussey build his innings to perfection. Unfortuantely, when Watson got out there was a steady flow of wickets and when Huss went with 20 plus run to get it became a difficult task.

In the end the boys lost but I am sure that they got a lot out of the game and are gearing up for their first round match against Ireland.

 Till next time.

“A week out from the T20 World Cup….missed flights and more”

A bit over a month ago the Southern Stars squad travelled to Sri Lanka to get a feel for the conditions, the people, culture and food.

For the last few weeks, before we got back on the plane, everyone returned to State training. For the Lend Lease Breakers this meant meeting our new coach, Joanne Broadbent (aka Brogs), a past player for South Australia and Australia.

To show my age, I am the only player within the squad that got an opportunity to play against her in the WNCL, and Brogs was quick to remind me how she used to hit me out of the No. 2 Oval at Adelaide…thanks Brogs for the confidence booster!

Apart from training, we all tried to settle back into normal life. For some it was attending Uni classes or heading overseas to watch their boyfriend play (lucky for some), but for me it meant coming back to one of the busiest times at work.

One week out from our departure doesn’t necessarily evoke the emotion of excitement for me. Instead, I am highly stressed trying to ensure that all my work is covered off. Thankfully, Sarah Aley has stepped into my role. I don’t know what I would do without you Mits, and of course Bron! Presents are on the way!

Just to throw a massive spanner in the works (a good spanner, however), Alyssa Healy (aka Midge) and I were short listed for the T20 Player of the Year -thanks to Twitter for breaking the news to us!

For the next few days we both weren’t sure what that meant, except that the ICC awards were taking place in Colombo on September 15, five days prior to our original departure date. However, after getting the all clear from my boss (thanks Thommo), Midge and I were bound for Sri Lanka a week earlier.

Right….so I had one week to sort all the things that I originally thought I had two weeks for, plus I was attending a black tie event.

First things first, I needed a dress and quick smart. Who else to call but our own Aussie designer, Mandy Heng? She had designed a knockout dress for me for the Allan Border Medal and thankfully, she had a stunning black dress that fitted me so stay tuned for photos next blog!

The second assignment was to sort out work. After a few stressful days I was able to get under control and leave knowing that everything was covered and would run smoothly.

Finally, we had to ensure that all the arrangements for our trip were sorted as we both were staying on in Sri Lanka until the rest of the group arrived. All the logistics were sorted two days out from our departure and on the day of our flight, we received all our new Aussie training kit – nothing like leaving everything to the last minute. Thanks to CA Staff and ICC staff for getting this all done at the last minute.

Everything was going swimmingly well until we arrived in Dubai. Having lost each together in the Emirates lounge, Midge and I were able to reunite but unfortunately we got too comfortable.

We managed to position ourselves in front of an Arabic screen detailing flight departures. That was our first mistake. Our second mistake was to assume that they would announce our flight over the PA system.

We quickly sprinted to our departure gate only to see our plane sitting there, with the words GATE CLOSED and no staff in cooee of the place. We both looked at each other with a sick feeling descending on us, then burst into laughter as our defence mechanisms set in. Once we got ourselves under control we went on the hunt to sort this mess out.

Initially, they mentioned that we would have to wait until 2.45am for the next flight which sounded daunting as it was only 745am – that is a long time in the airport!

In the end though, it all worked out as we were able to get on another flight just two hours later. It wasn’t a direct flight and we had a quick stop in Male, capital of the Maldives and the ultimate holiday destination!

Below are some photo’s of what we flew over, plus a lovely photo of Midge trying to cope with some of her own issues!!

That’s all for now until after the ICC Awards and the first few days of training!

 

Image

So much to explore

Image

My next holiday destination…..Emirates can you help out or the Taj resorts…please.

 

Image

Such a goose!!!Image