Women's Cricket in Australia - Playing the Game
Julia's 2000 World Cup Diary...Day 1-8
Day 1 23 November 2000
After a couple of days in camp in Melbourne, the team have been training and preparing well for our onslaught on the World Cup. The team was however divided soon into the trip with Air New Zealand reseating half the team in Business Class with the rest of the team in Pacific Class. What the girls missed out on in Business Class were some very valuable life lessons which wouldnt be traded for any amount of champagne they might have been able to consume. How to lie on two seats when you suffer from circulation problems, the art of small talk because your headset is broken and someone has a big head in front of you and you cant see the screen to watch the movie or how to cut meat up with plastic cutlery. I must add here that we were spoilt in Pacific Class as we received a tub of vanilla ice cream each which Business Class did not get. The fact that they got Blueberry and apple crumble with custard is beside the point and also the reason that the seats are wider.
To start off the diary this tour I thought I should give you a quick run down of the touring party to allow you to familiarise yourself with everyone.
Belinda Clark Nickname: Bill, B, Clarky, Cranky Clark
Captain of the team of the past 6 years. Recently appointed CEO of Women's Cricket, Belinda has been working long hours for the past two months to make sure everything is well prepared for the World Cup. Thus Cranky Clark has emerged sooner in the tour than expected. It normally takes something like people having a good time in the dressing room before a game, or someone commenting on her home-boy pants to get her really going. She has however since arriving in NZ reverted back from her alter-ego to the normal Belinda. Probably after reading this diary we may see Cranky again however.
Karen Rolton Nickname: Rolts, Red Hot Rocket, Roxy, Rockin, Two-Hits, Rolly
Vice-captain of the team for the past three years. Rolly by name, Rolly by nature, Two-Hits Rolton lives on the philosophy of winning every game in two-hits. In an innings in England in 1998, Rockin needed six runs to reach her 150. Straying from her usual theory of two-hits, Rolts was caught on the long-on boundary for 144. She has since vowed to stick with her tried and true system of two-hits. Rolts is also an advocator of the "if you jump in the air and land on the same spot on your side, people are going to think you put in an effort and it was a tough chance". You also wont have to run after it.
Cathryn Fitzpatrick Nickname: Fitzy
Clocked at 120kph, Fitz is just as quick off the field. Known as "The Prankster" amongst media types in England, Fitzy has decided to shed her image of blonde mop with headband for the spiky locks of Billy Idol. Go Mona!
Joanne Broadbent Nickname: Brogsy
One of the more extroverted & older members of the team, Brogs is sure to entertain on this tour, if not by accident. After rupturing her achilles tendon last tour to New Zealand, Brogs is now back to injuring herself in the more conventional ways. Her technique in running, skipping, walking and generally sleeping does however put not only herself in danger but most of her teammates as well.
Zoe Goss Nickname: Zeddy
Attending her 4th World Cup, Zoes goals for this World Cup include the importation of Turkish almonds into New Zealand, lobbying for banning hard hoofed animals in Australia and getting through the Australian National Anthem without making a mistake. She will be playing cricket as well.
Lisa Keightley Nickname: Leese
Not one of the best travellers in the team, Lisa would prefer to sit in the safety of a bus for 3 hours than explore a foreign place. In preparation for this scenario on this tour, Lisa has brought her trusty scooter with her which allows her to retreat faster if in immediate danger. The purchase of a new Tag watch however has increased the chance of attack, if not just from her own teammates.
Olivia Magno- Nickname: Mort, Liv
One of the most financially challenged in the team for the past 5 years, Olivia has become a Legend amongst other low income earners for stretching her food allowance budget to the limit. CD burning, Duty-free Shopping and discount voucher collecting are also skills attributed to Liv. Hopefully these attributes are not reflected in her work as a doctor.
Charmaine Mason Nickname: Charlie, Chucky
"Injury Management". The two words that best describe Charlie. Not that shes injured she just wants to take things easy in fitness, pool and fielding sessions in case she gets injured. Charlies performance is however improved with the presence of mirrors or cameras.
Avril Fahey- Nickname: Avy
A born leader, Avril thrives in situations which demand authority. Attacking the task with vigour, Avril has every team member, showered, fed and in bed by 8pm every night. Also a whiz at Giant Jenga.
Cherie Bambury- Nickname: Shorty
Hard-hitting left handed batter and hard-hitting right arm bowler or so my groin found out in 1995 National Championships, Cherie rivals Rolts for her powerful shots and rivals Kathy Watt for her powerful bleach. Must consult Olivia for a good deal on a hairbrush.
Therese McGregor Nickname: Tezza
Talented medium-pace and leg-spin bowler with an obsession with clutches. Obviously starved of animal affection as a child, Tez insists on calling everyone in the team Pet.
Julie Hayes Nickname: Judy
A newer member of the team, Julie is still under the scrutinising eye of the writer. Until this moment she has a clean record but I believe she was spotted only chewing her food 16 times before swallowing at Tuesdays Farewell Dinner. The writer is hoping the smack on her nose at training on Tuesday will result in some sort of blemish in the next few days.
Louise Broadfoot Nickname: Lou
One of the newer and more confident members of the team, Lous surname is not reflective at all of the truth. In fact both of her feet are at least a D if not verging on an E. In a display of confidence or possibly no confidence, Lou asked me to leave her bowling net at a recent net session as I was turning the ball further than she was and jeopardising her chances in the Victorian team whilst improving mine.
Julia Price Nickname: Pricey
The comedian of the team, my jokes bring joy and harmony to our tight-knit team. Being one of the most popular members of the team can be stressful at times but over the years I have learnt to spread my company evenly and fairly amongst all the teammates. I do however seem to have a talent for ordering pants which are too small for me to the pleasure of a few girls with no sense of humour. I have also discovered to my horror the similarities between my sense of humour and our previous wicketkeeper, Christina Matthews. I never found Chris very funny even when she did. This scares me.
Lisa Ross (physio) Nickname: Betty, Bonny, Rossy
Fortunate to be in New Zealand at the moment, Rossy was discovered by customs to be importing explosive goods into the country. When it was discovered this was only Bettys hair care bag she was let through without a hitch. Also a danger to herself and others, Betty is generally covered in cuts, scrapes and bruises. Her most recent bruise is the result of her falling onto a coffee table and landing on the side of her neck, or so she tells us anyway.
Sally Bailey (fitness adviser) Nickname: Bails,
Letting down the side in the beauty department, Bails has recently regressed to her childhood and is dragging us down with you. Our preparation for the big games now involves a skipping rope followed by one potato, two potato, turn the taters over. Sal has in mind for later in the tournament the harder routines such as Racing Car Number 9, losing petrol all the time, and depending on how well we do, possibly a bit of a tissue a tissue we all fall down.
John Harmer (coach) Nickname: Johnny, Swank,
After recently having surgery to insert a stainless steel skull cap to prevent further brain damage from incessant slapping and prodding in close games, John Harmer has been given the challenge of working on the down speed of a cotton bud and how a tea-strainer could possibly be advantageous to a cricketer on the field. He would also like someone to show him how to use one off the field as well for its intended purpose.
Steve Jenkin (Assistant Coach) Nickname: Steve
Virgo, Tour Guide and Voyeur. Steve has been studying the Lonely Planet tour guide for the past year and a half to make sure we dont miss anything that might be of interest in New Zealand. Steve is campaigning for the Gideons to bring out his guide in 8 different languages and be placed in hotels all over the country. Always on edge when videos are being viewed, Steve is constantly breathing sighs of relief as cricket appears on the screen instead of any of his personal collection. He has brought a special reinforced coffin which is constantly locked and within arms reach of Steve. He insists this is for his video equipment only.
Janine Stainer (Manager) Nickname: The Great Unstainer
Modelling herself on her idol Adolf Hitler, Janine has us organised and ready to go every day nearly as efficiently as Avril. Her role of Manager does however also double as astrologist. In accordance with Janines prediction of Sagittarius (which is Joanne Broadbent) the Otago Daily Times have stated and I quote "Gaining a new source of strength is as easy as accepting a few limitations. Finally, you understand a joke that previously went over your head". Unquote. Im wondering if she reads palms as well.
Erica Sainsbury (Scorer) Nickname: Erica
Ericas reputation of drug dealer to the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars may cause her some problems in getting into the country. After the incident with Bettys Hair Care Bag New Zealand have their beagles on full alert for any other dodgy types trying to come into their country. If only Australia could only take these measures then wed have no kiwis in the country. When interviewed recently by popular magazine "More Fun with Statistics" Erica was said her only purpose for coming to New Zealand was "to score". Women's Cricket in Australia are still putting together a statement.
Day 2 24 November 2000
We started this morning with a light run and a few sprints. A few of us are a little concerned due to the fact that Sally has been going easy on us. Weve been told we have a pool session for an hour in the morning so possibly thats when shell be taking it our on us.
Most of the morning was spent sleeping or shopping until our training session. This session had to be held indoors due to some inclement weather. Charlie has come up with the theory that the kiwis have sent us here because it was more likely that it was going to rain and wed get less practice in. It was then that Charlie came out with her words of wisdom. "The fact that we wont have played a game until the first round game against them is only going to make us hungrier!" In true Belinda Clark form she retaliates with "You can just eat more for dinner tonight then".
Unfortunately for half the team we were allocated John as our driver to our nets session. It was also unfortunate that we were instructed to follow the other bus to the indoor centre. We lost the other bus before we turned out of the carpark. However our indoor session was a good one with John and Steve giving us various challenges and tasks. One of my challenges for the day was to get a ball on the pitch when bowling to Bill. I failed.
It has been brought to my attention while shopping duty free yesterday, you could purchase a particular cd for $5 with any other purchase. Belinda was very excited about the cheap purchase and even more excited when a cd called "This is Australia" had all Australian artists on it. What a surprise!
Tonight we headed for dinner and once again lost the bus in front of us, this time with Steve as our driver. Somehow we managed to find the restaurant and had a quiet night, sampling kiwi food, wine and beer. A nice quiet evening appreciated by everyone.
Day 3 25 November 2000
This morning started a little slowly, especially for me and Brogsy. I accidentally sent my alarm for 7.15am which was actually our leaving time for our swim, not our waking time. Whoops! However due to the efficiency of Avril Fahey and her role call, it was quickly discovered that we were late. Without a moment to lose Avy put her future managerial skills into action and stormed off to our room to give us a hurry-on. Firstly Avy knocked on our door loud to make The Blue Nurses proud and also made me realise that Avy was in the wrong business and her calling to Red Cross should have happened years ago. It was then followed by a call of "Are you guys coming?". The smart answer would have been no but Ive yelled "yeah, yeah". The reply of "Well everyones waiting on the bus!" only further irritated myself and Brogs. The only thing stopping Brogs from walking out half naked to deck Avy was my onslaught of abuse which cannot be repeated. The incident is now behind us and Avril lives to see another day.
On our arrival at the pool, the team spirit was then raised with the sledging of all of those who were smart enough to wear bathing caps. It was then realised by those who had bathing caps that Zoes togs had become extremely thin just around her backside so sledging was soon diverted from the bathing cap swimmers to Zed. The team was divided into beginners, intermediate and injured. Our manager Janine snuck into one of the lanes and did a lazy 20 laps of the 25m pool. Obviously spotting an opportunity to hone in on her managerial skills Avril followed suit and took the session easy in the injured group. Tezzas stroke has improved now thanks to some tips from Av. Not to be left out on an opportunity to get out of fitness Rolts was also soon in the injured lane.
The afternoon training session was at Carisbrook where we will be playing Otago in a warm-up game. In rugby circle, Carisbrook is known as the House of Pain. It was not long into the session that we worked out why. The list of casualties is as follows:
- Therese McGregor - Back
- Olivia Magno - Bruised hand
- Karen Rolton - Strained Tricep
- Julia Price - Dislocated kneecap
- Janine Stainer - Bruised hand
Im going to leave you with this last anecdote and thought provoking question. We discovered school here in Dunedin called the George St Normal . Does this mean this is a George Street Abnormal School?
Day 4 26 November 2000
Due to a late start today in our practice game, everyone got to have their much needed sleep-in. A good sized breakfast and a bit of physio I was keen to get my gear together and head off to the ground. However, upon my return to my room I discovered Joanne Broadbent bent over on the bed. To my horror I discovered that Brogs was reading "The Mini Motivator". Ive managed to steal the book from Brogs and will reveal a few of the secrets that have been locked away in this treasure chest of inspirational quotes.
"Enjoy being down. There is nothing wrong with being upset or depressed. Enjoy it!"
(Not sure if that theory would work at your local psychiatric clinic)
"Send flowers to thank people for their efforts. You will have a huge impact"
(And probably get a lot of people thinking you want to ask them on a date)
"Saving Money. If someone has told you that you arent very good at saving money, toss that belief into the ocean. Its rubbish"
(Yeah, its perfectly normal for a 28 year old to still be living with her parents because you cant afford to move out)
Whatever Brogs read seemed to work because Brogs hit a good 45 from 56 balls today in the practice game. We would all rather read or possibly take whatever Rockin Rolton was on today as she smashed 72 from 42 in no time at all. The team scored 2/331 with two retirees and two not outs. The game finished with Otago 6/75 from their 50 overs with Chucky 3/8 from 7 overs. One of the funnier incidents at the game today was one of the spectators asking us "Why are all Australians skinny". Got to be happy with that kid.
In the last few days, Zoe at every opportunity has been trying to play a couple of her tapes, in the bus, on the team player etc. Zoes music however is not to everyones taste, so its quite funny seeing people running for the front seat of the bus, or to snatch up the tape deck before Zoe can get there and force her music on us.
Early night and ready for another practice game tomorrow.
Day 5 27 November 2000
Todays weather was slightly warmer than it has been on previous days. This however hasnt stopped our reptilian like Olivia magno from wearing full thermals everyday since weve arrived including under her playing uniform.
Our warm-up today was like any other except today we got to witness Karen Rolton at her fastest. Whilst sitting down on the edge of the sight screen to have a rest from the long walk from the dressing room to the nets, Rolts quickly stood up to avoid a ball smashed at her, only to crack her head on the bar above her. Not at all happy to be the brunt of our jokes Rolts proceeded to smash every ball at us.
Lisa Rosss bowling has been progressing well in the last few days. Weve nearly got her leg moving at the same time as her arms now. Her technique is an interesting one in which she seems to be facing the wrong way on delivery. A small hurdle but Im sure well work it out by the end of the World Cup.
For lunch we were treated to "Smoked Chicken & fitter" pastries. This meal was endorsed by the New Zealand Institute of Sport and apparently, like pronounced over here, make you fitter.
On arriving at Christchurch Airport, Belinda and myself stupidly jumped into the first van that we saw. Once the door closed it became apparent that Zoe was in the front seat and we were trapped in the mobile disco until at least we arriving at dinner. Fortunately the waiter knew how to sign as both Belinda and I were suffering from tinnitis in both ears.
Our night however had only just begun after dinner when our liaison Cathy attempted to lead us out to Lincoln University. The fact that we got lost getting out of the airport carpark should have been warning enough that we were in some sort of trouble. Our bus trip turned into our own version of Speed and Cathy was Sandra Bulloch. The only difference was that if we stopped one more time to ask directions we were going to explode and not the bus. Cathy did that many U-turns and three point turns we thought she was going for her driving license. All she needed was a hill start and a reverse park and we would have given it to her. At one part of the journey we noticed a car up ahead of us, seemingly facing the wrong way Cathy. We then stopped at a motel for directions which also became a toliet stop much to the delight (not) of the owners. Once inside the University, Cathy decided to use her interior light instead of her headlights to find her way around. All that she found was about 4 gutters in her 3 u-turns and a security guard who led us to our accommodation. To make sure that she didnt get lost following the security guard, she tailgated him for the next 5 minutes. It was now approximately 11.45pm and we still had a team meeting to attend with regards to what was happening the next day. Cathy was late to the meeting as she got lost trying to get out of her room. Fortunately the same security guard came to the rescue again. There was a team vote later that meeting that we would try and find the breakfast hall by ourselves.
Day 6 28 November 2000
After successfully navigating our way to breakfast this morning, we had a couple of hours off to just relax and pretty much find our way around our new surroundings. Fanmail was the first thing to be accessed and we thank everyone so far who have sent us some encouraging words or just news from back home.
Belinda has been busy doing numerous interviews for various radio and tv stations. One of the more entertaining interviews, if you look closely, will have Lisa Keightley in the background attempting to take a tablet and then vomiting it back up.
A fairly laid back training session of skipping, catching and drop-hits then took place followed by a quick fielding session. Our skipping has been progressing well. We have however struggled with the two ropes and may have to consult the girls from The Netherlands to help us in the area of Double Dutch. The one rope seems to be our strength and we are now going to campaign that if the Dutch can claim the two ropes as their own, then well name our one rope as the Single Aussie. Lets see if Malcolm McLaren can come up with a song for that one!
Except for the fact that it was pouring rain and freezing cold, the Opening Ceremony went well. We cant really complain as all of the Maori Warriors and Dancers were only in their undies. In fact the Powhiri (ceremonial welcome) was quite interesting and had most of the overseas visitors entertained for the half an hour. At the end of the Maori performance, all team captains had to participate in the Hongi. This is the rubbing of noses to seal the ritual. Fortunately for the Maoris, Lisa Keightley is not our captain as she is suffering from a bad cold at the moment. Belinda always one to take advantage of every situation, is meeting one of the guys for a date tomorrow night. To conclude the ceremony two cannons were set off sending streamers flying, not to mention most of the Sri Lankan team who are still said to be in hiding. Hopefully they will be found before our match with them on Friday.
Day 7 29 November 2000
A fairly uneventful day socially. It has been discovered that Lisa Ross has been wearing her Sussan sponsored cargo pants still with the tags on them. The word is shes going to take them back and try and get a refund because the tags havent been taken off.
Today is Brogs birthday and we celebrated it with a win over New Zealand. We bowled quite well on a fairly grassy pitch to restrict NZ to 9/166 with Therese McGregor getting 4/17 from her 10 as well as scoring player of the Match. We chased and got the total for the loss of 4 wickets. Rockin Rolton smashed them with an unbeaten 51.
The weather today was freezing with a maximum of 11. Most of the girls went the Olivia Magno way and tried to wear as many layers under their playing uniform as they could. Due to the rain yesterday, the ground staff impressively worked through the night to ensure there would be a game today. As much as this was appreciated by the two teams competing, the teams backing onto the ground, however, were not quite as happy due to several flashing lights on the soppers starting at 12 midnight and finishing at 8am.
The power of plait was put into action today. My ponytail was a beauty and this was the sure sign from the beginning that we were going to be in good form today. Not only did I predict that I would get two dismissals but I also said we would either win by 15 runs or with 15 balls to spare. The latter was the result. Do not underestimate the power of the plait.
Over here in New Zealand they seem to work on the theory that there is in fact more sun shining in the evening hours than the scheduled daylight hours.
Due to me trying to be social and mingle with other teams, I was duly late for our team meeting. I was only late because they decided to have the meeting in a different building to the usual. Because I was late, I was thus volunteered to attend a function in Christchurch next week on behalf of the team. Little do the girls realise that this in fact is not a punishment but a reward for me.
Day 8 30 November 2000
It was today that John Harmer decided he had to have a talk to most of the team about their drinking. He believes we have a problem and that something has to be done about it. I decided to speak up for the team and said to John as I put my stubby of Speights Dark Ale down, "Thats my third and my last beer, John". It was then that we were called for breakfast and the subject hasnt be raised again. That was especially for Dale who has sent me some fan mail and would like the diary to be a bit more Warwick Toddish with a bit more spice. If you are after a bit more spice Dale Im afraid the closest we get is Billy C, or Zoe G. We are all a bit boring Im afraid and of course none of the above happened, well not this morning anyway.
Today was a late start with a 9am after breakfast to loosen everyone up. Unfortunately Rolts loosened one child up a fraction too much. As the girls were doing their walking in the pool, two small children decided to swim underwater for as long as they could. Avril Fahey avoided the first child and second child, Lisa Keightley avoided the first and second child, Karen Rolton stood on the first and severely traumatised the second by leaving his mate crushed on the pool floor. The child is out of intensive care and has been moved into his own room at the Pediatric Hospital. I think Rolts is there visiting now.
Two games were played today with England beating The Netherlands by quite a few runs and India beat South Africa by 8 wickets. The weather today was perfect and set up a great day to watch a few of the games and give us a little insight into a few of the other teams.
We were given a bit of a treat this afternoon as a masseuse was brought in to give us a quick rub-down in any niggly spots. Next time Ill try and get in before Rockin Rolton, and Charlie, as by the time I got in there, the poor woman had no flesh left on her hands.
Quiet night in with a few videos. Game versus Sri Lanka tomorrow. We havent played them before so we are not exactly sure what to expect. Fingers crossed for a good plait.
Follow Julia to Part 2 and Part 3 of the WC Diary.....