The Women's Hundred 2021
Redmayne out to grab unexpected chance in Hundred
With a host of top Aussie cricketers pulling out of England's Hundred tournament, the next tier of Australia's women's talent pool is out to make their mark
12 July 2021, 01:05 PM AEST
When Georgia Redmayne was weighing the pros and cons of a surprise offer to join The Hundred, it was the chance to learn from one of the all-time wicketkeeping greats that convinced her to sign on the dotted line.
Redmayne, alongside her Brisbane Heat and Queensland teammate Laura Kimmince, departed for the United Kingdom last Friday evening, with the lengthy flight no doubt giving the pair a chance to brush up on the rules of the new 100-ball competition.
Once there, Redmayne will join the Welsh Fire, where she has replaced state teammate Beth Mooney, who opted to withdraw from the tournament due to its proximity to Australia's home international season.
The uncertainty surrounding international travel in the time of COVID-19, including the potential for difficulties in returning home, meant it was not a clear-cut decision to join the competition.
"It took me a week of changing my mind about five or six times, but I was really happy once I finally made the decision," Redmayne told cricket.com.au ahead of her departure.
"Ever since I heard about the tournament it was something I wanted to be involved in and it's not often an opportunity comes up to play as an international player in a foreign competition.
"I was a little bit nervous around the travel, wanting to make sure I'm back for Queensland Fire for their first games of WNCL so it was something to weigh up.
"I was a bit apprehensive but I spoke to the tournament organiser Beth (Barrett-Wilde) and she was great at answering all my questions – and being me I had a lot of questions – but being in contact with her gave me a lot of confidence they'd do everything they can to get us back (home).
"I had a few conversations with a couple of other girls who I knew were considering going as well, Sammy-Jo, Burnsy and Wello, and it helped to chat to them and compare our thoughts."
But for Redmayne, who is uncapped at international level, the opportunity to appear in the league as an overseas player was ultimately too good to pass up.
So too, was the chance to alongside with legendary England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, who has come out of retirement to play for the Fire.
"Ever since I made the decision, I thought I would regret not going over," Redmayne continued.
"In my opinion Sarah is the best female wicketkeeper to have played, so I can't wait to learn from her and see how she goes about the game."
The 27-year-old wicketkeeper-batter was one of seven Australians called into the tournament after nine CA-contracted stars withdrew; joined by Kimmince, Erin Burns, Heather Graham, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Sammy-Jo Johnson and Piepa Cleary.
Redmayne was in career-best form across both the WBBL and WNCL last summer, hitting 357 runs at a strike rate of 118.6 for the Brisbane Heat before smacking two centuries and averaging 123.75 in Queensland's successful domestic 50-over campaign.
Given that, it comes as little surprise she got the tap on the shoulder when Australia and Fire coach Matthew Mott was looking to replace Mooney.
Mott has since opted not to travel to the tournament and has been replaced by Mark O'Leary but will remain involved as a consultant this season.
Redmayne will be joined by fellow Australian Cleary at the Fire – the WA pace bowler was already in the United Kingdom for the northern summer, playing for Thunder in the ECB's regional domestic tournaments – and South Africa allrounder Sune Luus.
But it is Kimmince who Redmayne is tipping to take the competition by storm, playing for the Northern Superchargers.
"I'm so excited to watch her play, I reckon she's going to go out and dominate," she said.
"People like Sammy-Jo as well, it's so exciting for those of us who are uncapped domestic players are getting that opportunity to go out there and show our skills in front of that domestic audience."
Fans familiar with Redmayne would know she combines her cricket with a medical career. Towards the end of last year, she left her full-time role as a doctor at Tweed Heads hospital and has instead been working casually around her cricket duties, allowing the wicketkeeper to dedicate more time to cricket, and have a better balance work-life balance.
It meant she was able to enjoy her first actual holiday in seven years during the off-season, travelling to Lord Howe Island with family, and spending a month working as a locum in her hometown of Lismore before returning to Brisbane for Queensland's preseason.
"I think it's important for me that I still have that time to work as a doctor, because I don't want to leave it too long between stints and I maintain my registration and everything," Redmayne said.
"But it is nice in the same way to now be free (for cricket). I was planning to be training full-time from now on but going off to England to play matches is even better."