Fires surrounded my home
The bushfires were so close to home. Just seeing all the videos on Facebook of houses being burnt down was really scary.
Wingham, the town on the NSW Mid North Coast where I grew up, was surrounded, basically. A lot of my old schoolmates live in the bush and one of them only just got power back after not having any for two weeks.
I felt so lucky. We’re in town, about 2km from the main street, so we were all right; it was just the embers that my parents had to watch.
We had the hoses on the roof and around the place in case of any spot fires. Even though we’re in town, we’re on four acres, but it’s pretty clear of rubbish, and we’ve got the horse, Baby Bear, to keep the paddock grass down.
I was on my phone so much, checking on my mates’ families to see that everyone was all right. Even the atmosphere looked so scary; the whole of Wingham was covered in so much smoke that you could hardly see down the main street.
When my mum was planning on coming down to Melbourne, they were saying the fires had closed the highway, so we weren’t really sure whether she’d be able to visit. But she took a chance, went the back way, sort of snuck through and got to the airport at Newcastle.
There are no traffic lights in Wingham, that’s how big it is. There’s one main street and a park. It’s a really nice place. It’s such a community. Everyone sort of knows everyone, and I’m probably related to half of them.
I did an Ancestry DNA test recently and I had British settler DNA from when they came and settled on the Mid North Coast, so our family has been there for a bloody long time.
Both my Nans are still there. I live in Canberra now, for my cricket, and I don’t get to go home as often as I would like because it’s obviously a long drive and the closest airport is Port Macquarie, which is still an hour-and-a-half away.
Honestly, we did so make kilometres when I was younger. Obviously we’re not too close to any city, so whether it be going to cricket or golf or soccer, we’d always have to drive for ages.
And, yes, that’s when I learnt how to sing and talk with my mouth shut. Everyone always asks me to do it. It’s so embarrassing, and some of the girls give me so much crap for it, but it’s what all the media peeps ask for, so I just go along with it.
It is weird. I’m weird though. I just don’t care what people think; I really have no filter sometimes. In a good way. I just try to be unique and find fun in everything. Some people think that’s weird.
— Melbourne Renegades (@RenegadesBBL) November 30, 2018
My goal is the World Cup
With me coming from the country, from Wingham, I guess it provides some hope that any girls playing rurally can make it in the big smoke.
All the commuting is a big sacrifice, but we stuck with it and I was pretty grateful that my parents were able to chauffeur me around. If you set your mind to it, you can do it, no matter where you come from.
There are a lot more opportunities around now in women’s cricket, and I think the first standalone WBBL has played out really well – including the regional games. The Renegades played in Ballarat last weekend and and we had a really good crowd turnout, and a really family-orientated, community feel.
I just got selected for Australia A, and next year’s World Cup is obviously my goal, but I just have to focus on the process and try and perform well in the Aussie A series, and also the back half of the Big Bash.
It’s my fourth season, and I feel like it’s probably been my best. I was leading wicket-taker a couple of rounds ago, so I started off really well. Sort of plateauing at the moment, which is a bit crap, but it’s such a long season and anything can really happen in T20 cricket.
We’re fifth, and whether we make the finals again could come down to our last game: the Melbourne derby against the Stars on Sunday. It would definitely be quite a grudge match and everyone at the Renegades would be pretty geed up and excited and pumped if that was the case.
We can’t forget that semi-final against the Sixers last year. Oh my gosh, I think they replayed it 10 times on the coverage the last time we played at Drummoyne. They just keep running it, because, to be honest, it was probably one of the best games of cricket I’ve been a part of.
That last ball was so perfectly executed. By everyone. Then we had to go into a super over to break the tie and we lost, which sucks. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I recommend watching it. It was insane.
It’s probably put a little bit of pressure on us to perform this season, so we’ve been a bit disappointed when we’ve been losing. But we definitely know we can be up there with the best teams, and we’ve still got a couple of games left to prove it.