Player Diary: Kate Cross
I have just returned from Alice Springs where we played the final group stages of the WBBL in an indigenous round where we got to wear a special kit that had Aboriginal Art as the design. Alice, obviously being in the centre of Australia, was exceptionally hot, and quite quiet. It reminded me of when I was a youngster and believed that Australia was just red dirt and kangaroos in your back garden! Thankfully I didn't come across any snakes though.
We went into the weekend needing to win both of our games and the Renegades to lose at least one of their last group matches, to progress in the Bash. Unfortunately, we were beaten in the first game and the Renegades won, which meant we wouldn't make the semi-finals this year. As disappointing as that was, we had played too inconsistently throughout the season to give ourselves a solid chance of finals.
However, we were involved in some really good games of cricket and we got to play at the new Optus Stadium in Perth, after one of the men's Scorchers games on Boxing Day, which was a great experience. Around 19,000 people stayed in to watch the first ball of our match too which shows how far the women's game has come in such a short space of time.
During that time, I was very lucky that my family came over to visit me and watch some of the matches, but I have to say that a Christmas in 31 degree heat never feels normal. We went to the beach for an hour and then had a typical Aussie BBQ, not your standard Christmas dinner!
The WBBL was a brilliant and challenging experience which I'm grateful for. The cricket is played at a very high standard and I feel like it's the closest I have been to playing international cricket. I even got to catch up with all the girls who have played at Lancashire Thunder too which is always nice.
The schedule has meant that I haven't really had a chance to explore much of Australia and I thought that travelling to Alice Springs meant I was in with a chance of going to Ayer's Rock. The girls were quick to tell me that its another eight hour drive (or one hour flight) from Alice though and I probably wasn't going to get chance. I still get shocked at how big this country is! Luckily we flew over Ayer's Rock on the way back to Perth so I was able to see it then!
I am now staying in Perth to complete the final round of the WNCL, where we have two fixtures left and a chance of making it into the finals if we win both of our remaining games. We are yet to play Tasmania in this competition too, which means I will be able to catch up with Alex Hartley while we are in Melbourne.