Mooney walks familiar turf for Cup defence

Previous stints in the north of England has Australia opener on comfortable footing for the Women's World Cup

As Australia's Women's World Cup squad settles in for a lengthy stint in the United Kingdom, there's one member of the 15-player squad feeling a little more at home than most.

Opener Beth Mooney is no stranger to English conditions, having spent the Australian winter in 2015 playing county cricket with Yorkshire, before returning to represent the Yorkshire Diamonds in last year's inaugural season of the England Women's Super League.

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The Queenslander certainly looked at home during an intra-squad training match in Hampshire on Friday, striking a 63-ball 61 before retiring as the Australian batters sought valuable time in the middle.

The knock was a positive sign the Mooney is primed to continue her outstanding form in the green and gold, having posted a century and two fifties in Australia's most recent ODI outing against New Zealand in March.

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"I spent a fair bit of time in the middle and blew a few cobwebs out," the left-hander said as the Australians prepared to relocate to Leicester, where they will play two ICC warm-up matches next week.

"I feel like I'm ready to go and hopefully I'll get another opportunity next week to open the batting with Nicole Bolton."

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Australia's World Cup schedule doesn't take them as far north as her old stomping ground, but Mooney's experience could prove invaluable to the top-ranked ODI side as they seek a seventh 50-over title.

"I've been lucky enough to play the last couple of years in Yorkshire, the conditions are slightly different up there but it does make me a bit more comfortable and confident heading into the games over here," she said.

"Hopefully I do well if and when given the opportunity."

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Mooney's batting in New Zealand cemented her place at the top of the order alongside an equally in-form Nicole Bolton.

But with a host of other Australian batters also in fine fettle, Mooney doesn't envy the task of the selectors tasked with determining the best XI for the June 26 World Cup opener against West Indies.

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"The vibe around the camp is really good and everyone keen to get going," she said.

"Everyone looks in good touch and I don't envy the selectors at all.

"Everyone in the squad of 15 is in a good position to win games for us at any point and our batting has come along really nicely."

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Australia's next assignment is a warm-up match against South Africa in Oakham on Tuesday.

After a fiercely fought one-day series against the Proteas late last year, Mooney sees the match as an opportunity for Australia make a statement before the tournament proper.

"We've had a few games since then and they've played a couple of series as well, so they'll probably be a completely different side," she explained. 

"A few of their big players played in the Big Bash as well.

"It'll be exciting to see where they're at as a team and it's an opportunity for us to stamp our authority on the World Cup as well."

Women's World Cup 2017 Guide

Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Squads: Every World Cup squad named so far

Australia's World Cup schedule

View the full tournament schedule here

Warm-up matches

June 20: Australia v South Africa, Oakham

June 22: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester


June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton

June 29: Sri Lanka v Australia, Bristol

July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol

July 5: Pakistan v Australia, Leicester

July 9: England vAustralia, Bristol

July 12: Australia v India, Bristol

July 15: South Africa v Australia, Taunton

July 18: First semi-final, Bristol

July 20: Second semi-final, Derby

July 23: Final, Lord's

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