Aussie superstar gives cricket program tick of approval
AUSTRALIAN superstar Beth Mooney imparted her considerable knowledge on Mackay’s next generation of female cricketers during a virtual trophy tour celebrating the Australian team’s historic ICC Women’s World Cup victory earlier this year.
How Mooney manages her emotions, her pre-game routine and what she does to mentally prepare before going out to bat were some of the questions eager Mackay juniors levelled at the star left-hander.
“They’re pretty switched on, kids. They usually come into those things knowing what they want to ask and have very astute questions,” Mooney said.
“I think it’s great that girls that age have the opportunity to pick the brains of (players at the top of the sport).”
The wider Mackay region was selected to be part of the virtual trophy tour off the back of significant advancements in the women’s participation space, and has been invited to apply for funding as part of Cricket Australia’s ‘The Next Innings: Accelerating Female Participation’ program.
The funding will help clubs work toward the key focus areas that have been identified as crucial to growing female participation in cricket, including making the sport more popular for young girls, building positive club environments and growing the pool of female coaches.
Mooney is no stranger to the unique hurdles regional Queensland cricketers, particularly girls, can face as they try to graft a way to the top of the sport.
After moving to Hervey Bay when she was 10, Mooney’s formative cricket years were spent playing in predominantly all-boys teams and the pathways for girls were scarce.
In the past decade the pendulum has swung considerably, and Mooney said it was fantastic to see regional areas like Mackay be so proactive in providing quality pathways for female cricketers at all levels and abilities.
“When I first started coming through at 13, 14, 15, there weren’t any all-girls teams in Hervey Bay. I was one of two or three girls that played the sport,” Mooney said.
“Now to see fully-fledged girls teams in regions like Mackay is awesome.
“It’s been really nice to see the amount of girls teams that have popped up around the country.”
The 26 year old has been one of the trailblazers not just for women’s cricket, but female sport in general.
She believes events like the virtual trophy tour Q&A are important to maintain a link between the superstars of the sport and its next generation.
“We want to … be approachable in a way that anyone feels they can have a chat to us. It’s important we offer an insight to girls who want to play cricket in the future and aspire to be in the Australian team,” Mooney said.
“The best way to do that is … (for them) to be able to speak to the Ellyse Perrys, Meg Lannings and the like.”
Mackay teenager Charli Knott is one such youngster who has benefited from exposure to elite-level players.
The 17 year old, now into her third season with the Brisbane Heat WBBL squad, is on the cusp of big things according to her former teammate.
“Charli has been around the Queensland set-up for a couple of years now. She was one of the best coming through the ranks in the underage set-up,” Mooney said, now with the Perth Scorchers.
“I feel like she’s evolved very quickly in the last 12 months. I obviously won’t see her much with the Brisbane Heat this year, but I’m sure she’ll get an opportunity and make an impact there.
“She’s been bowling and batting well in the nets. She has a long career ahead of her.”
Mooney finished 29 not out in Australia’s 3rd ODI thrashing of trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in Brisbane this afternoon.
The 232-run victory secured a 3-0 series sweep and amounted to both Australia’s biggest ODI runs victory in 15 years and NZ’s heaviest-ever defeat in the format.