Mooney unfazed by biggest year yet
Beth Mooney has her sights set on wearing the Baggy Green as Australia begin their Ashes preparations in Brisbane
15 May 2019, 04:26 PM AEST
Here’s a snapshot of what’s on the agenda for Australia’s women across the next nine months: an away Ashes, a tour of the Windies, two international series at home, domestic T20 and 50-over competitions… all before the grand finale, the T20 World Cup on home soil next February.
With all that, it’s reasonable to think the team might be a bit daunted by what’s to come, right?
As the Australians gear up for their Ashes defence, Beth Mooney insists her side isn’t shying away from the challenge of playing more cricket than ever before.
Rather, the Australian opener is hopeful that as the women’s game progresses, there will be increased opportunities to play Test cricket.
"I think anything that would involve more Test cricket would be a massive bonus for us as international cricketers,” Mooney said in Brisbane today.
"It’s still the same era where we’re chomping at the bit to play games and get better.”
Currently, only Australia and England play Test cricket. Since 2013, the fate of the Ashes has been determined by a points-based, multi-format series that sees a red-ball contest bookended by three ODIs and three T20Is.
For the time being, Mooney is content with the value offered by the multi-format series, but in time is keen to see the concept expand to more nations.
"At the moment, I think in terms of selling the game for women’s cricket, the multi-format is probably what’s working,” she said.
"Once more countries get on board, we might see more of the multi-format series across the nations.”
"Hopefully that means moving forward, that the Ashes series for the women could be three Tests instead of just one in the middle of a multi-format…maybe in five years it will be a full-blown Test series.”
It’s been more than 18 months since Australia were last seen in whites, after the team retained the Ashes on home soil in late 2017.
With preparations for the 2019 Ashes now in full swing, the Australians have assembled in Brisbane at the Bupa National Cricket Centre for a three-week training camp where they will have the opportunity to fine-tune and prove their skills ahead first ODI on July 2.
Mooney says the mood among the squad is peaking and the prospect of donning a Baggy Green is providing plenty of incentive.
"Hopefully I get a chance to wear the Baggy Green again,” she said.
"It’s a pretty special thing to be able to do as Australian cricketers in this day in age, so the fact that we don’t do it as often as we like means it means a bit more to us and it’s something that we get really excited about.
"The Ashes series is always a big one. We really look forward to that, it’s almost as big as a one-day World Cup and things like that.”
As well as the invaluable opportunity to practice with a red ball, Mooney says the team is conscious of the challenge presented by the English conditions - particularly for an opening batter - and will be using the time in Brisbane to ensure their skills and technique are up to scratch.
"We’ve actually got some red ball practice up on the top oval today which I think everyone’s pretty excited about,” she said.
"You probably want to work on playing the swinging ball more as an opener and things like that and really just fine tuning your techniques so that there's not too many leaks in it so that if the ball does do a lot in England for example, your technique can adapt to it and cater for that extra movement.”
Australia will have the chance to familiarise themselves with the English conditions, with a week of training and practice matches scheduled in Loughborough ahead of the first ODI on July 2.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
First ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 2
Second ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 4
Third ODI St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, July 7
First T20 County Ground, Chelmsford, July 26
Second T20 The County Ground, Hove, July 28
Third T20 Bristol County Ground, Bristol, July 31
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins