As a young girl, Beth Mooney never thought a career in cricket was a possibility. Not because she wasn’t good enough, but because she didn’t think she could earn a living doing it.
“I’m very grateful for the landscape to have changed so much that it is a genuine career option for young girls now,” Mooney told Women’s Agenda recently.
In 2014, Mooney took a chance, quitting a teaching degree to pursue cricket full-time. Fast forward six years, she is now an integral part of the Australian Women’s Cricket team. At the time, Mooney says she wasn’t sure whether that choice would pay off or not. Now, she wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I wouldn’t have forgiven myself either if I didn’t give myself a red-hot crack at trying to make it to the top of cricket,” she says.
The Australian Women’s Cricket team has an incredible depth of players, something that has been evidenced recently in the One Day International series against New Zealand, played in Brisbane. Mooney is a big part of that depth. In the third match of the ODI series, Australia smashed their highest ever total against New Zealand, and it happened without injured stars Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry. Mooney scored an impressive 29no off 19 balls.
The 3-0 series sweep over New Zealand saw the Australian women’s side equal a world record, winning their 21st consecutive One Day International match. Along with Ricky Ponting’s 2003 men’s side, it’s a record for the best ever winning streak in ODIs. Mooney was one of just four players to play in each of the 21 matches.
Creating history!— Australian Women’s Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) October 7, 2020
This team is something special 💚💛 pic.twitter.com/b5iokXABqa
Back in March, Mooney was named T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament, an experience she calls “unbelievable”. In the international tournament, Mooney was the batter to score the most runs of any player, at 259 in total. She also hit the most fours of any player and took the most catches in the field.
It was an unforgettable tournament for the Australians, who won the ICC T20 World Cup final in Melbourne in front of a record-breaking crowd of 86,000 fans.
Looking back, Mooney says she feels lucky at how her 2020 has panned out, especially compared to many other people around Australia. She’s been loving spending time at her home in Brisbane with her dog, Ruby, and in her own bed – something she often misses out of when travelling in a regular season.
“The hub has been ok too, because we’ve been able to get out and about to get takeaway coffees – which is obviously a necessity for us cricketers,” she said.
Looking to the future, Mooney shares that her goal is to “just have a positive impact on every team I play in”. Being a role model for young girls and boys is also important to her.
“Hopefully I can keep inspiring young girls and boys to play cricket, and more importantly, stay in the game for the long term.”
And her tips for future cricketers? Ride through the tough times, and stay in it as long as you can.
“Make sure you enjoy the game for what it is because it can be pretty unforgiving at times. And you’ll meet so many lifelong friends playing the game so make sure you stay in it for as long as possible!”
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