TWO TEAMS, ONE IDENTITY
Being part of the review into Australian cricket obviously had its challenging aspects, but I’d argue it also resulted in the most meaningful engagement between the Australian men’s and women’s teams that I can recall.
The leadership groups from both teams met. We shared ideas on what it meant to play for Australia, the culture of our own teams, how we maintained levels of behaviour and standards, and how that in turn became ingrained in our squads.
We agreed that there couldn’t be fading around the aspirations we had for our teams. Having a strong culture and being the best version of yourself is a constant process and requires a high level of energy and commitment. Everyone needs to contribute. You can’t just rely on one or two people to uphold standards. It’s the responsibility of the entire squad – every single person – to ensure values are lived.
When we got to the crux of it, the Australian teams weren’t too dissimilar in terms of what we were trying to achieve. The wording may have varied from time to time, but the essence of what we deemed to be important was largely the same.
The gold in the conversations centred on leadership. That’s where I learned the most.
I don’t think you could say there was any one moment where the lightbulb went off and we all went, ‘Aha! That’s what we’ve been missing the whole time!’ It wasn’t like that. Rather, it was a meeting of two sets of leaders and a sharing of knowledge and experiences with the aim of getting better.
To me, it was another indication of how far cricket has come in Australia.
Five, ten years ago, I don’t think the powers that be would’ve consulted members of the Australian women’s team. For a long time, when people talked about the Australian cricket team they were really only referring to the men.
That view has changed. There has been a realisation that, ‘Hang on, this team has been very successful over a long period of time and there must be a good reason for that.’ There’s an awareness that there is a whole other team out there representing Australia proudly and professionally on the cricket field.
To see the two teams come together like they did as a review can only be a good thing for Australian cricket. Pooling our knowledge and experiences can only make us both better.
I can’t wait for the summer ahead.
The scheduling was pretty tight between the end of the T20 World Cup and the start of the WBBL, but we managed. I was still battling jetlag a little last weekend and when I went out to open with Rachel Priest against the Renegades, I told her, ‘I’m not quite sure what this is going to look like but I promise you I’ll call well!’ Tired or not, I didn’t want to be involved in any runouts.
The WBBL is heaps of fun as a player. Everyone looks forward to it. There are lots of families around and the atmosphere is brilliant.
The tournament has already come a long way in just four years.
It’s only going to get better.