Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Blackwell Hooked on Cricket

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Blackwell Hooked on Cricket

Article excerpt

Byline: Brad Greenshields

AS she drops her line off the end of Coffs Harbour's Jetty to enjoy her favourite pastime, Southern Stars vice-captain Alex Blackwell said there's a striking similarity between fishing and batting.

"The really good days are a little bit few and far between," Blackwell said.

"You can have really slow days, especially as a batter like when you don't score any runs but you're always in with a chance of having an amazing day.

"I find you've got to take the good with the bad and fishing's a bit like that."

On Sunday Australia's most capped cricketer will play her 250th match for her country when the Southern Stars meet England in Coffs Harbour for the third One Day International of the Women's Ashes series.

The 34-year old said she'd have been well satisfied just to have had a short international career but to reach 250 matches, a feat which places her fourth on the all-time world list, is a reward for years of hard toil.

"To get the call up to play for Australia in one game is really special and I've worked really hard I guess to evolve my game and sort of stay relevant throughout a long career because in that career T20 came about," the Australian vice-captain said.

"The fact that it's become a professional sport has extended my career."

Reaching the milestone is also a result of some amazing perseverance and sacrifice.

Nearly three years ago Blackwell was tossing up whether to retire from cricket as the burden of captaining her state and playing for Australia with very little monetary reward was weighing her down heavily.

"There were a couple of times when it was really starting to wear me down trying to do everything, have a job, captain these teams and play for Australia, it was hard to fit it all in," the former genetic counsellor said.

"I got to a point where I knew something was going to have to give and, fortunately at that time, there was just enough money in cricket for me to go 'you know what, I can survive on that'. …

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