Aussie stars join new platform
A new platform that gives fans direct access to players' insights, their personal journeys and favourite highlights
1 November 2018, 01:00 PM AEST
Three of Australia's biggest cricket stars have signed up to create content for a new digital brand, Direct Hit.
Australia captain Meg Lanning, fearsome pace bowler Pat Cummins and entertaining allrounder Glenn Maxwell will provide fans with insights into their personal journeys and re-live some of their favourite cricket highlights, as both players and spectators.
Maxwell is excited to be able to use match vision to illustrate his memories and thoughts about the game.
"I'm a very visual learner as I know a lot of people are – especially in this day and age," Maxwell said.
"I love watching cricket videos and I think the more cricket videos we can have people learning from and watching ... the better.
"This is the sort of stuff that I would have loved to have watched (when I was younger) with Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mike Hussey and those sorts of players on this sort of platform."
Maxwell said he'll use the platform to speak directly to fans.
"It really gives a good insight into my personality and my life behind-the-scenes, around cricket," Maxwell said.
"People see a lot of what I do in games and make their perceptions but probably what I do outside of the game defines me more as a person."
And in an emotional interview for Direct Hit, Maxwell also talks about what he went through at the end of 2014 – one of Australian cricket's most difficult periods in the wake of Phillip Hughes' death – when the Victorian admitted he reached his lowest point in cricket.
"That was the hardest thing for me to understand – I was at such a high at some stage during 2014 where I felt like I was hitting the ball so well," he told Direct Hit, when reflecting on his infamous leave in a Big Bash game against the Brisbane Heat. "To get to such a low, where I was charging down the wicket and not playing a shot and getting bowled, it was hard to fathom.
"Mentally, I was in a lot of trouble."
Lanning - who just led Australia to a clean sweep over Pakistan in Malaysia - is keen to use the platform to show that behind the justifiably intense way she approaches international cricket, she is just a laidback person who loves hanging out with family and friends... and detests coriander.
"I think I've learnt over the last little while to give a little bit more about myself," Lanning said in a Q and A published on her Direct Hit website.
"Generally, I do keep my cards pretty close to my chest but I'm probably a little bit more relaxed in real life than how I come across in press conferences and interviews.
"I do like to think of myself as pretty chilled and pretty relaxed, and I love to have a laugh."
Lanning says her hatred of coriander is widely-known, and often targeted.
"It shouldn't be allowed in any cafe or restaurant, I'm not sure why people like it," she said.
"I always get tagged in coriander posts on Facebook, because everyone thinks it's really funny.
"Whenever I have to make any food requests or list an allergy, I always put on there that I can't have coriander. I should always say I'm allergic to it, because that would probably give me a little bit more credibility, but I just really don't like it."
Lanning also opens up on the challenges she faced when injured and out of the team.
"I remember going to the Ashes Test match in Sydney last November and I would sit in the change room with the team, and I felt like a total outsider in my own team, in a way. I'd never experienced that before. I didn't know where to sit, I didn't know where to put my bag, I didn't know whether I could talk to someone. It was awful really," Lanning wrote in a Direct Hit column.
"I didn't think it would be that hard. Everyone else was like, 'I don't know why you're feeling like that, that's silly', but that's just the way it was and it sort of struck me like… I'm the captain of the team and if I'm feeling like that when I'm out, even if you're 12th or 13th player in the team, if that's the way that I'm feeling when I'm not quite in it, imagine how other people feel."
As for Cummins, he is excited to share detailed insights into some of the biggest moments in his career and help people get to know a bit more about him off the field. Bucking the stereotype, perhaps, Cummins reveals via Direct Hit he is an avid reader – and it's not cricket or sports books that pique his interest.
"I love reading in my spare time," he told Direct Hit.
"I read lots of novels but also lots of science books. I find biology and space fascinating and just learning more about the world and history."
Cummins also provides fans an inner sanctum view on how opposition players are targeted and the tactics that are employed to reduce their impact on matches.
"We always hold a team meeting before a Test series and formulate different strategies for specific players. The bowlers will all sit down together, go through footage of the opposition, figure out who their best batsmen are and talk about ways to get them out," Cummins said, reflecting on taking the key wicket of Joe Root during the last Ashes series in Australia.
"More often than not, the classic 'hit the top of off stump, bowl the odd bouncer' does the trick. When we come up with something a little more intricate, you leave the meeting thinking 'this plan is great', and then as soon as you get out into the heat of battle, you realise how good the batsman actually is.
"So when I think about which is the most satisfying wicket of my career, getting England's Test skipper out on the opening day of an Ashes series with the perfect plan is hard to top."
Fans can stay up to date with the latest Direct Hit content via the website, or the related social media channels:
By the players. For the fans.