Australia have laid to rest their Women’s World Cup demons once and for all, with the country’s top players officially turning their focus to England at a pre-Ashes training camp in Brisbane this week.
It’s the first time the Australian players have come together since being knocked out of the tournament semi-finals in the United Kingdom in late July, with the week-long camp to provide valuable training time ahead of the first Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes ODI on October 22.
"Yesterday we wanted to put the World Cup to bed," Australia head coach Matthew Mott said at the Bupa National Cricket Centre on Tuesday.
"We had a raw session, we got together, sat through fair bit of footage and just came up with some plans around what to do next time.
"That was good for group and cleansing, (the loss) is still quite raw with group.
"We’ll have another meeting this morning and that will be all about the Ashes.
"We’ll make sure we don’t look behind now, we’ll look forward with everything we do from now on."
While captain Meg Lanning won’t be part of Australia’s Ashes campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery, the remainder of Australia’s contracted players will spend the week training in Brisbane.
They’ve been joined by recent internationals and camp invitees Ashleigh Gardner, Belinda Vakarewa, Sarah Aley and Molly Strano, with the multi-format Ashes – which feature three ODIs, a day-night Test and three T20Is – requiring a versatile pool of players to choose from.
The first match of the multi-format Ashes will be played at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field late next month and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy is relishing the chance to get some early match practice at the venue.
"It’s great, we love coming up here to train," Healy said.
"It’s really good to be out in the Brisbane sunshine with the rest of the group at top-class facilities.
"We’re kicking off the Ashes here on October 22, so it’s a nice feeling coming here.
"Hopefully the Queensland crowd gets behind us."
While Australia’s World Cup campaign was ended by India in the semi-finals, Healy expects England to be full of confidence after claiming the World Cup in a thrilling final at Lord’s.
"The Poms will have their tails up after the World Cup success and rightfully so, but we’ll be looking to bounce back," she said.
The Ashes will include the first-ever women’s day-night Test, to be played at North Sydney Oval from November 9-12, and the Australian players had a chance to try out the pink ball on Tuesday afternoon.
While it’s a new concept for the players, Mott doesn’t believe the change in ball will be a problem for his charges given they already only play red-ball cricket once every two years.
"For me (the ball) is the same size, the same weight, it is just a little bit different, but it’s genuinely exciting the prospect of playing with it," Mott said.
"It’s a really exciting feeling and a lot of our planning and preparation will be around that event.
"It’s going to be a real icon event for women’s cricket and all the players are really looking forward to it."
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes
First ODI Allan Border Field, October 22
Brisbane Charity Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust
Second ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 26
Third ODI Coffs International Stadium, October 29
Day-Night Test North Sydney Oval, November 9-12
First T20 North Sydney Oval, November 17
North Sydney Charity Partner: McGrath Foundation
Second T20 Manuka Oval, November 19
Third T20 Manuka Oval, November 21
Canberra Charity Partner: Lord's Taverners ACT