Queensland speedster Holly Ferling hopes a strong domestic summer with the ball can put her back in contention for international selection.
Ferling is approaching the end of a busy pre-season with the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire, having fully recovered from the elbow surgery that cut short her Rebel WBBL season in January.
Now, she’s got her sights set on terrorising the nation’s batters in the Women’s National Cricket League, which gets underway on October 6.
And in good news for the 21-year-old, she is fully fit and raring to go after a tough 2016-17 season.
“The elbow is all good, I had surgery in January and I’ve finished my rehab, I’m back bowling now and looking forward to the season starting,” Ferling said at a Play Cricket Week event in Sydney on Friday.
“We’ve just got the last little bit of pre-season to go and I’ll be itching to get out there and start playing.”
Ferling was dropped from the Australian squad after the first three ODIs against South Africa in November, before injury denied her the chance to prove herself during the remainder of the domestic season.
She played just four matches for the Brisbane Heat in WBBL|02, first suffering concussion due to a bump on the head while fielding before being sidelined for the remainder of the season due to her right elbow injury, which ultimately required surgery.
Ferling returned to bowling ahead of the Women’s World Cup but was unable to force her way into the 15-player squad for the tournament in England.
With just one round of WNCL before the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes gets underway, there’s little time for the Kingaroy product to argue her case for a spot in the squad to play England.
However, Ferling did have a valuable chance to perform in front of Australian coaches and selectors on Saturday when she lined up for Queensland in a trial match against Australia’s Ashes training squad at Brisbane’s AB Field.
And while Australia’s spin and batting stocks have been bountiful of late, their pace stocks have been less abundant – the Southern Stars took two uncapped seamers to the World Cup – so there’s no doubt a fit and firing Ferling back at her best would be a welcome sight for the Australian selectors, particularly with several overseas tours and a World T20 looming in 2018.
“I’ve just got to keep pushing my case forward and the way to do that is play well and take wickets,” Ferling said.
“I’m doing everything I can now and I’ve got good support behind me in Queensland.
“I’ve really worked hard at my rehab and getting my action back to where I want it to be. This season I’m hoping will be a good one for me and likewise for the Queensland team, the Brisbane Heat and also the Australia Women’s Cricket Team as they head into their Ashes.”
Queensland begin their WNCL campaign with matches against NSW and ACT.
Having lost last year’s final to the Lend Lease NSW Breakers, Ferling will have one thing on her mind when the sides meet in Blacktown on October 6.
“We’re really excited to play NSW first up," she said. "We unfortunately had that final up in Brisbane which didn’t go our way last year so we’re itching to get out there and get some revenge.”
And while she wasn’t part of the World Cup in the UK, Ferling was a keen viewer from afar and was excited not only by the standard of cricket, but by the crowds and media attention the marquee 50-over event received.
“It’s amazing to see what women’s cricket has become. We’ve got the World T20 here in Australia in 2020, so that’s a carrot in front of all us now to up ante and try and outdo England in terms of people coming to games,” she said.
“We’ve got massive roles to play as players to make sure cricket keeps moving forward and we keep producing the cricket people want to see and watch.”
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