People are talking about how high the standard of the WBBL is right now, but I think what we’re going to see in the next few years is the competition going to a whole new level.
There are still the veterans in the game, who have been through so many tough times to be in the position they are in now. Now they get to enjoy what they spent their careers fighting for.
Then there is the middle generation, who have carried women’s cricket into the current era and become household names.
And now we’re about to start seeing the stars of tomorrow; the young girls who will be the first generation to emerge from Cricket Australia’s pathway. They each have an incredible understanding of the game and unbelievable technique. When I see their potential, it’s easy to see what the WBBL can become in the future.
I took Warney’s advice
Years before the Big Bash was invented, I remember sitting in a Melbourne cafe trying to decide whether I should sign with WA to play first-class cricket.
I took the chance and six months later I got my call-up to play for the Australian Test team. I think I’d only played six first-class games at the time, and probably wasn’t ready, but I wouldn’t change that if I could because receiving a baggy green was something I’d always dreamed of.
Shane Warne gave me my cap, which was a great honour. We were both spinners who had played for the St Kilda Cricket Club. It was an amazing moment, and something that I still look back on with a lot of pride.
He told me to make sure I had fun, and I took that advice on board!
Making my Test debut in an Ashes series was unreal, even though we lost quite badly. My second Test match was in the West Indies, and I actually opened the bowling in both innings.
The conditions weren’t really suited to any bowler, so Michael Clarke threw up my name as an option. It’s funny because as a kid, I’d always dreamed about opening the bowling for Australia, but I’d always thought it would be as an express-pace fast bowler. To do it as a spinner was pretty unexpected.
In the end, I might not have played many Tests for Australia as I would have liked to, but it was still a great time in my career.
I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time around the team on a few tours. I was spending weeks at a time living with blokes that became my mates, talking about anything except cricket.
I especially feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to become friends with Phil Hughes.
He was probably the first of my teammates to come up and congratulate me on joining the team and to welcome me into the fold, which says everything about the kind of bloke he was.
We spent a lot of time together and I’m very thankful for that now, and for the way cricket brought us together. He was one of a kind.