ICC Women's ODI World Cup 2022
Sutherland still soaking up teenage dream
Annabel Sutherland's first taste of international cricket taught her some valuable lessons - and has lit a fire as she trains in isolation
23 April 2020, 10:25 AM AEST
After the ‘best two months’ of her life, teenage allrounder Annabel Sutherland is hungry for more.
The 18-year-old never expected to play a part in Australia’s triumphant T20 World Cup campaign, let alone find herself standing on stage beside Katy Perry, medal around her neck, just several months after finishing high school.
But after completing her first international campaign in front of 86,174 at the MCG on March 8, Sutherland had eagerly anticipating the start of her second just one week later.
The postponement of Australia’s limited-overs tour of South Africa last month due to the coronavirus pandemic has put those aspirations on hold for now, but it is clear the Victorian will be firmly in the plans of the Australian brains trust when cricket resumes.
"I was a bit gutted (South Africa) got postponed, it would have been another great experience to hopefully have had an influence or make an impact," Sutherland told cricket.com.au.
Life in self-isolation at home in Melbourne was not how Sutherland was expecting to spend these months, but she is determined to look on the bright side.
She and big brother Will, who plays for Victoria and Melbourne Renegades, have been hitting the home gym and providing valuable motivation for one another.
"I’m more keen than ever to keep working hard and improving," she said.
"I’ve got a taste of what it takes to step up to the next level, so I’m keen to explore that.
"Fitness is the main thing, I haven’t had a big strength block in terms of a proper preseason (before) so this is a good opportunity to fit that in."
And when her next opportunity does arrive, Sutherland believes she will be better for her World Cup experience.
"(I learnt) that in a tournament, anything can be thrown your way, as it happened to us with a few injuries," she said.
"It’s about how you bounce back and a lot of the senior girls played a big role in helping us stay in the right direction despite the other issues we were facing – (I learnt) you can bounce back from anything.
"(Being able to) maintain composure in all situations, particularly in a tournament, was something I hadn’t experienced before for that length of time, and in terms of having the high stakes game we had."
Sutherland was the sole surprise in Australia’s 15-player group for the tournament, bolting into the group despite being uncapped at international level.
After a Rebel WBBL campaign that was interrupted by Year 12 exams, Sutherland admitted she had even tempered her expectations of making the Australia A tour in December – and never gave a thought to an international call-up.
That swiftly changed after a call from national selection Shawn Flegler in January – just weeks later, the allrounder had made her international debut in the CommBank T20 Tri-Series and would go on to feature in three World Cup matches.
"It still doesn’t feel real to be honest, feels a bit like a dream but it was probably the best two months of my life so far," Sutherland reflected.
"Having only just finished school a couple of months before, I didn’t even think I’d get picked on that Aus A tour, so for that to have all happened, it’s pretty cool and something to look back on that I’m pretty proud of."
"To even play once, let alone three times during the World Cup was very special," Sutherland told the Melbourne Stars website.
And, not forgetting that post-match show from popstar Perry.
"We got told that we were going on stage, so we sprinted around, and we were waiting for about 10 minutes and then got let on for her last song.
"She was awesome and the whole thing was very, very cool."