Let’s have a chat about women’s sport, or if you don’t mind, I am just going to refer to it as sport.
Sport is such a huge part of our Australian culture and has been for a very long time.
When I was growing up (yes it wasn’t that long ago) my favourite cricketer was Ricky Ponting, my favourite footy players were Terry Lamb and Tony Lockett and my favourite soccer player was Lucas Neill.
You want to know why? Because they were what I could see on TV. Sport for me was for "blokes", it was all about being covered in dirt and sweat and then cracking a beer after the game in your jocks, because that is what I saw on the telly.
As a young girl playing every sport under the Australian sun, I never saw an opportunity for me to play all these sports at the elite level, let alone with other girls. I thought I was destined to play with the boys forever!
But my Dad found a women’s cricket competition in Sydney and I learnt that there was an Australian team. They played Test and one-day cricket, like the men on the TV do!
I finally saw a pathway and something to strive for and I’m excited to say that I’m living my dream.
Young girls can now watch women playing elite sport on their TV or via social media. Even as a not-so-young girl I’m excited by watching it all.
I’m in constant awe of some of the other female athletes and what they are all achieving. It is so exciting to see so many more sporting role models in our society, not just those blokes I spoke of earlier.
Instead of girls growing up aspiring to be Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon or Pat Cummins they can see themselves as Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry or Jess Jonassen.
But as women’s sport gains more traction on the telly, we tend to cop a little bit more criticism about not being able to do things as well as the men or so it seems to some people.
This grinds my gears, not because it is brought up all the time, but more so because I shouldn’t have to justify my sport.
Top level sport is about being the best you can be in elite company. We each strive to be our best and we want to compete against the best.
I sat on the sidelines of Allan Border Field with the flu last week and I was in heaven.
I had two games of cricket to watch, the NSW Blues were taking on Victoria on the main field while the Australian Women’s Team had an intra-squad match up in the top oval.
I was glued to both games. I watched Nic Maddinson hit 81 off 33 balls and Beth Mooney make a rapid 100. I watched Chris Tremain steam in from one end and then watched Ellyse Perry do the same on another oval.
I didn’t compare the efforts, because I was in the moment, cheering on these athletes on because they’re kicking arse for whoever they’re representing.
I know how much time, effort and how many sacrifices they’ve made to be doing so.
I don’t think about Tim Cahill as Sam Kerr slams a header home for the Matildas . I don’t think about Jamie Dwyer when Emily Smith makes a diving deflection for the Hockeyroos.
Sure, Tremain did bowl quicker than Perry last week, but with just under 20cm of height and 30kg of weight more than her should that not be the case?
But you know what, that thought never crossed my mind, because it was just good cricket.
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