Australia will play a mix of youth and experience in their upcoming 20 over series against New Zealand as they look at building a squad capable of winning back the Women’s World T20 title in November.
Unlike the men, it’s been no fuss from the Australian Women’s Cricket Team and their most recent tour of India saw them claim a T20 Tri-Series over the hosts and England.
For Sophie Molineux, the prodigiously talented youngster from Bairnsdale in Victoria, it was her first tour in international colours.
“It was such an amazing experience. With the Big Bash and domestic cricket, it really sets you up to play that next level of international cricket,” Molineux said.
“I’m lucky to have played against the English Captain Heather Knight and a few amazing South African cricketers as a 16-year-old.
“To spend my last three years playing against the calibre of players in the Big Bash has made that transition smoother but playing for your country is the pinnacle and with it comes a little bit of pressure, it was the first time I’d really felt nervous.”
It’s been a whirlwind 18 months for the 20-year-old. Last year she won the inaugural Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year Award.
“That was a really big honour. Betty Wilson was a legend of women’s cricket and to be the inaugural winner was quite humbling. To even be at the Allen Border Medal with the likes of Elyse Perry and Steve Smith walking past I couldn’t believe I was there on the night,” Molineux said.
“I feel the last six months has been a massive pinch yourself period where I still can’t believe what I’m doing.”
Now the all-rounder who once took seven wickets for no runs at a State Carnival and growing up wanted to play A-Grade alongside her dad at West Bairnsdale has the chance to inspire the next generation of cricketers.
“I know when I was younger looked up to the likes of Shelley Nitschke, Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds. I really struggle to see it like that now but it’s just amazing. The coverage cricket is getting now is allowing young girls to turn on the tv and see their heroes play,” Molineux said.
She’ll be able to do more than that when the third and final game of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team’s T20 series with New Zealand is played at Manuka Oval on Friday, 5 October.
Traditionally Canberra has been a friendly venue for run scoring and Molineux expects that will be the case next month.
“With the batting line ups of both sides I can see it being run city at Manuka Oval. It’s always a flat deck and the outfield is really fast, so I don’t enjoy bowling there (laughs), I can imagine a few runs being hit and good scores posted,” Molineux said.
With adult tickets at $15 and children under 15 getting in for free, plus plenty of family fun with t-shirt and thunder stick giveaways there is really no excuse to be anywhere else.
As for our women they’re ready.
“We did a bit of team bonding at the start of our training camp and went out bush,” Molineux said.
“We then went into game mode and got competitive against each other, we’re ready to play New Zealand.”
Hot Seat with Sophie Molineux
I’m fresh into the squad and haven’t had a lot of room mates. I could imagine Elyse Villani being up there. She has a bubbly personality, not sure what she’s like on the tools in the kitchen.
Who is the messiest team mate?
Meg Lanning, she’s renowned for it.
Alyssa Healy is up there she is a bit of a rat bag and perhaps Elyse Villani up there as well.
Did you really take seven wickets without conceding any runs?
I can’t really remember it was a long time ago (laughs). It might have been in an under 12 National Championship game.