Why Our Aussie Women Cricketers Went From Southern Stars To Superstars
The Australian women’s cricket team are ICC Women’s World T20 champions once again after an eight-wicket victory over the old enemy in Antigua today, cementing their claim as one of our nation’s best sporting teams.
And this victory has so much more meaning than another well-earned item of silverware to pop in that overflowing trophy cabinet back home.
The Aussies have not only won four titles from six World Cups but continue to set and lift the benchmark for women’s sport globally and provide a blueprint on how to best represent your country. Period.
After a tumultuous year for the men’s national program, expectations are certainly lower than usual heading into the summer of Test cricket on home soil. With skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, who are also two of the top batsmen in the world, plus Cam Bancroft serving suspensions for their roles in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa in March, for the first time in years fans are prepared for a long rather than a hot summer.
While said saga and at times some other eyebrow raising behaviour, namely sledging, has left many cricket tragics disillusioned they need only look at the women’s team to find a side they can get behind, feel proud of and view as role models 24-7.
These female athletes are a breath of fresh air. Yeah, they’ve got all the sublime skills but their willingness to and love of engaging with fans of all ages is more impressive and lasting than any hat trick. These queens let their varied personalities shine through allowing us, every day, knock about Aussies, to get to know and connect with our sporting heroes. Imagine!
Just take a glimpse of social media today where the Twittersphere is a flurry and hashtags #AUSvENG and #WT20Final are the top two trending. The big final was also live on Fox Sports and free-to-air television for Australians to ride every wicket and applaud every run.
We’ve been holdin’ out for a hero out in the middle and we officially now have 11 of them.
During the Final, gun all-rounder Ellyse Perry became the first Australian to reach 100 wickets in T20 international cricket and jumped to second on the list of most wickets taken.
In an interview after the win, Perry said “It was great to get the result tonight and hopefully inspire a lot of young boys and girls back home to play cricket.”
The experts who believed opener Alyssa Healy needed to fire once again to ensure an Aussie win were proved wrong, the in-form keeper/batsman posted just 22 but most importantly enjoyed team success and took home player of the tournament honours for amassing 225 runs.
She provided the lolz with “lucky I bought my golf bag” now her tournament gong will get packed for the trip home alongside four player of the match awards. (Only a nasty concussion kept Healy from a POTM sweep.)
Player of the Final Ash Gardner fired with the ball, netting 3-22, then the bat, smashing 33 off 26 balls namely three massive sixes. Not far behind her was rookie Georgia Wareham (nicknamed Woofy. Werewolf. Get it?) who hails from Mortlake, 50kms north-east of Warrnambool in western Victoria.
In her first tournament representing Australia, the 19-year-old snared the magnificent figures of 2-11 off three overs, took a great catch and completed a brilliant run out to dismiss England’s No. 3 batsman Amy Jones for 4.
Fittingly the captain Meg Lanning hit the winning runs and while she didn’t top score, her leadership throughout the tournament was brilliant. Her rare display of emotion post-match gave a small insight into what she’s endured over the past year and a bit, recovering from a shoulder injury which sidelined her from last summer’s Ashes series, to return to the world stage.
Again, she is the skipper of the world champs.
They are no longer nicknamed the Southern Stars, but our Aussie women are that -- stars and the definition of star athletes and star players.