We had three good matches in Cuttack and were the only team in the tournament to finish the Group Stage undefeated.
Cuttack was very different to Mumbai, it is located on the east coast of India and is a lot more remote. It is much less chaotic and a little cooler, but the people were just as friendly. The pitch conditions took a bit to get used to and we were challenged by Pakistan and South Africa in our opening two matches. It’s great to see the lesser known nations really starting to perform at the big tournaments and providing strong competition and an exciting spectacle of women’s cricket.
The South African match especially had the heart pumping as we chased down their total with only three wickets to spare. A good lower order batting performance was enough to see us get over the line against a strong bowling line-up which had us on our toes.
The grounds in Cuttack were about 45 minutes from our hotel so it didn’t take long for us to find ways to amuse ourselves on the bus ride to and from the stadiums each day. Alex Blackwell and I decided did the calculations and decided that we could fit in significant viewing time of Bridesmaids during those bus trips, while others opted for headphones and music.
As the team prepared for our own version of cricket’s night of nights (the AB Medal) we enjoyed a rather colourful trip to the shops to select our outfits for the prestigious event, which was held at our hotel in Bhubaneswa. It was great to get out of the hotel ad experience some of the local culture, which was vastly different to Mumbai. It’s fair to say most of the girls were dressed by Layla of Bhubaneswa – who offered good designs at a decent price. We arrived on the red carpet after a 30 second tuk tuk ride around the hotel’s round-about, with some extremely good tunes on the tuk tuk’s radio. Upon arriving at the red carpet we were greeted by the media pack, which included Chief Photographer Julie Savage (Team Manager and Chair of Selectors) and Red Carpet Reporter Jess Cameron. The competition for best dressed was hotly contested but eventually our Strength and Conditioning Coach Jade Roberts was declared the winner. The night success and special congratulations goes to Jess Cameron for winning the Belinda Clark Award, a very deserving recipient.
We have now returned to Mumbai and a few of the girls have decided do a little more exploring of this great city. Alex Blackwell and Renee Chappell were super adventurous and decided that a 6am trip to the fish markets would be a good experience. I thought better of this trip, preferring to sleep in on our day off. I have only heard good reports of the fish markets though and Alex and Chaps had a few good stories to bring back to the group.
We now look ahead to completing the Super Sixes stage of the tournament, every game so far has been tough but we understand how important it is to win every game.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia