Blackwell blazing new path post-retirement

From Mongolia to the board room, Alex Blackwell's post-retirement life is keeping her involved in all facets of the game

Trailblazer. Leader. Role model. Record breaker.

Alex Blackwell had no shortage of titles during her 17-year career in elite cricket – and if the past six months since her retirement are anything to go by, it's a trend the former Australia vice-captain is carrying into her post-playing career. 

Blackwell, 34, called time on her international and state career in February having played 251 matches for her country, more than any other Australian woman.

She admits adapting to life after a full-time playing career has been no easy task, and when it comes to working out what comes next, Blackwell is keeping an open mind.

The 34-year-old is open to every opportunity that comes her way – and already, there's been no shortage of offers – as she works out how she can best remain involved with the game.

Last month, Blackwell became the first woman elected to the Cricket New South Wales Board, while she's currently in the United Kingdom undertaking her first head-coaching assignment at Lancashire.

She's also travelled to Mongolia to work with local cricketers, played in the United Kingdom for the FairBreak Global XI in a match advocating for gender equality, and shared her wisdom with countless audiences through various speaking engagements.

Business and coaching are a far cry from her previous work as a genetic counsellor, which she quit in 2015 to become a full-time player, but Blackwell is throwing herself head-first into the challenges ahead.

"A lot's been said about athletes transitioning after retirement and as much as you think you've prepared for it, it is quite challenging," Blackwell told

"I'm very appreciative of the network I've built over a long playing career, to have so many people supporting me and guiding me through this time.

"It's a period of change in my life … so I'm not really looking too far ahead. I'm just lapping up every opportunity that presents itself and doing my very best in those roles to experience them fully and see if I do enjoy it."

In June, Blackwell added another record to her impressive collection when she became the first woman elected to the Cricket NSW Board.

Two women had previously sat on the CNSW Board – former director Rina Hore and current director Patricia Forsythe – but Blackwell was the first to be elected by CNSW members.

"The director role is something I'm very excited about," Blackwell said.

"It's been something I've thought about for a little while and now is a good time.

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For Blackwell, who has completed a company directors course since her election, the motivation is all about giving back to the game that's given so much to her, and to find a way to influence the future direction of the sport.

"It is really important," she said. "I am hugely passionate about the game of cricket and over a long career, 17 years with NSW and 15 with Australia, I was really hopeful I could find a way to not let that accumulation of knowledge and experience be lost to the game. 

"This role with NSW is a great way for me to continue to hopefully positively influence the sport and keep cricket strong in NSW.

"The course was very much theory, I'm now able to apply that theory in the setting of the NSW cricket boardroom so I'm looking forward to putting that into practice."


Blackwell's other big undertaking since retirement couldn't be further from the boardroom. 

She's currently in the United Kingdom after being named head coach of Lancashire Thunder in England's domestic 20-over competition.

It's her first major coaching role, but one the 34-year-old felt ready to take on after her vast experience captaining Australia, New South Wales and Sydney Thunder.

"I know I've got a lot to offer given all the experience I've had, especially as a captain for so many years and leading Sydney Thunder to the inaugural WBBL title, (combined with) my experience captaining Australia to a World T20 victory in 2010.

"So I've got an understanding through those experiences of what it takes to win tournaments."


Away from Cricket NSW and far from the United Kingdom, Blackwell's uncovered another new passion.

A chance opportunity to travel to Mongolia – of all places – in June as an ambassador for Cricket Australia and the Australian Government opened the former batter's eyes to a whole new area of the global game.

There, she visited the Mongolian Cricket Association and had a chance to share her skills with an ever-growing group of young players who are taking up the sport. 

"The Mongolian Cricket Association is in its infancy, it started in 2007," Blackwell explained. "It's all about getting kids in schools to play cricket. 

"It's remarkable how much interest there is over there.

"Currently 10 schools have a program and there's one coach employed by the Mongolian Cricket Association to work with them.

"But there are 20 additional schools who really want the program, so there's a real need is to upskill coaches to cater for this growing interest."

Now, she's eager to go back and continue to grow cricket in the eastern Asian nation.

"For me, it was great to see the game of cricket having such an amazing impact on kids who come from a very disadvantaged background.

"Most of the kids I interacted with were from orphanages, so they have all sorts of characteristics which would be good for cricket, they're very resilient and self-reliant, and cricket is teaching them teamwork." 

New off-field responsibilities aside, Blackwell still hasn't given up the game entirely: she's confirmed she will return to the middle this summer to again captain the Thunder in the Rebel WBBL.

While her roles with NSW and Lancashire are currently commanding most of her time and attention, she'll have ample time upon returning home at the end of the Super League season in late August to ready herself for WBBL|04, which begins in Melbourne on December 1.

"I'm really looking forward to it," she said. "I want this fourth BBL to be my best yet."

Tickets for Australia's international series against New Zealand are now on sale, from $15 for adults and free for kids. For more details visit 

Commonwealth Bank T20I series v NZ 

September 29: First T20I, North Sydney Oval, Sydney

October 1: Second T20I, Allan Border Field, Brisbane

October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra

Commonwealth Bank ODI series v NZ 

February 22: First ODI, WACA Ground, Perth

February 24: Second ODI, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide

March 3: Third ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne