With the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League just around the corner, WACA Communications Intern and Western Warrior Rookie Alex Bevilaqua caught up with Scorchers gun Mathilda Carmichael to chat all things Scorchers and life outside of cricket.
Alex: Having played the first round of WNCL recently, how do you find the transition from the 50 over format to the 20 over format?
Mathilda: The skills generally don’t change too much, in the end it is all just cricket! However, in T20 cricket coming in in the middle order you don’t have the option to ‘have a look’, so you need to be extremely clear with your game plan from ball one of your innings, and then execute. In the T20 game fielding is a huge focus as the game often goes at a much faster pace than the 50 over format. Not that fielding isn’t a focus on the longer formats, but every fielder is in the game each ball regardless of where they are on the ground. With games often going down to the last over, each run saved or a half chance taken can have such a huge impact on the result of the game.
Alex: What does this season have in store for you?
Mathilda: I feel I understand my game much better than previous years. That’ll give me a better opportunity to have a clear game plan, based around my strengths and weaknesses, so I can then test myself against the opposition bowlers. I was on the fringe of the playing 11 last season, so cementing my spot in the team would be great, and then putting consistent performances on the board to stay in the side!
Alex: How will you adapt with the changing of playing venue?
Mathilda: We get to play at three different venues this season; The WACA Ground, Optus Stadium and Lilac Hill. We are very familiar with the WACA and enjoy the fast pitch and outfield. Lilac Hill is a great ground to play at, and the community support we get out there is always fantastic. Hopefully we can replicate the carnival atmosphere which fans have come to enjoy at Lilac Hill and the WACA this year!
Finally we have our Boxing Day double header at Optus Stadium which I know the girls have already pencilled in their diaries! We played our semi-final there last season which we won, so you could say we have a good track record there! Hopefully the boys can have a win first on Boxing Day, and the crowd will enjoy more action in our game afterwards!
Alex: Is it exciting to have Meg Lanning ready and raring to play?
Mathilda: Extremely exciting to have Meg with us, and even more so that she will be out on the park this season. She isn’t the Australian captain for no reason, so it will be great to have her cricket smarts leading and guiding us. Obviously some runs from her would be handy, but I am sure we will all learn a lot from her, as she really is a once in a generation cricketer!
Alex: You’ve started an internship in the marketing department at the WACA, how have you found the transition from the field to the desk?
Mathilda: It’s been a great learning experience for me to come and see the business side of the WACA. It is so easy to become a bit sheltered as an athlete (it’s a great life don’t get me wrong!) but it has been fantastic to see how many hard-working people are required to make an organisation so successful, It gives you a whole new perspective. I’ve also gained some real-life work experience and skills away from the cricket pitch, which can only be learned on the job!
Alex: As an athlete it’s important to switch off from the game sometimes, what sort of things do you do to recharge the batteries and take your mind off cricket?
Mathilda: During summer I will usually be at the beach, whether it is swimming or just walking on the sand. In Winter I get away from cricket but spending most of my time at my hockey club, Melville, either coaching or playing. My friends are fantastic to lean on too when I need to forget about the game for a while! I very rarely sit still, so my methods of relaxing probably aren’t what most people picture chilling out to be!
Alex: What has been the most memorable moment in your Scorchers career to date?
Mathilda: Having the team make the final in both WBBL|02 and 03. Unfortunately, we didn’t take out the title in either of those matches, but I think we have all learned from those matches and are well placed to push forward this season and go one better.
Alex: What is one quirky fact that people might not know about you?
Mathilda: I am scared of heights and dislike Magpies!