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!