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Mooney looks to England for new tricks

Southern Stars batter hopes to benefit from an extended stint in Yorkshire with a busy summer ahead

Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars batter Beth Mooney is packing her bags and heading to England in search of some new tricks ahead of another busy summer.

While her Australian teammates are spending the southern winter training at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Mooney will take a different path to the Southern Stars’ next international assignment in Sri Lanka this September.

She has set off for an extended stint with county team Yorkshire, where she will play in the Women’s County Championship before lining up for the Yorkshire Diamonds franchise the inaugural England Women’s Super League at the end of July.

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Despite being a regular member of Australian squads for the last few years as a back-up wicketkeeper for Alyssa Healy, the 22-year-old Queenslander only made her Australian debut in January, forcing her way into the XI as a standalone batter.

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With three ODIs, nine Twenty20s and a World T20 campaign now under her belt, Mooney reflected on the biggest learning curve from her first few months of international cricket.

"I think just learning new skills is what I need to focus on,” Mooney told cricket.com.au.

"The biggest part of moving into international cricket is that people work you out pretty quickly.

"So you need to be developing new areas of your game and challenging yourself to get better and better.

"The other big thing is just looking after yourself and making sure you’re doing the right things off the field, so you can perform on the field."

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The Southern Stars will travel to Sri Lanka in September ahead of a summer that will see them play South Africa and New Zealand.

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Mooney hopes her time in England will have her match-ready for a return to the subcontinent.

"I played with Yorkshire last year and we won the County Championship, so we’re looking to do that again hopefully.

"County’s been unbelievable. Playing with a different group of girls in a different environment with different coaches definitely helps.

"I’ve spent the last six years playing here at Queensland and it’s been a wonderful opportunity for me but just expanding your game a bit more and giving yourself an opportunity to play elsewhere is something I’m looking to do all the time."

The last time the Southern Stars played in Sri Lanka was during the 2012 World T20, but Mooney is one of several squad members with more recent experience on the island nation.

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Not only did she travel there on tour with the Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars development team last year, she was also the breakout star of the series, scoring back-to-back one-day centuries.

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Now, Mooney hopes she can replicate that success for the Southern Stars.

"It’s definitely an interesting country to play in. I think the pitches are quite batter-friendly so I’ve enjoyed the last two times I’ve been there and scored a few runs."

Extra time banked in England could also pay off long term for the Queenslander, with Australia to defend their 50-over Women’s World Cup title in the United Kingdom next June.

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