Australian cricket star Ellyse Perry has not entertained suggestions she should give up bowling after an seven-month absence from the game after a hamstring injury she suffered at the T20 World Cup in March.
Speaking ahead of the sixth season of the WBBL which begins on October 25, Perry provided a positive update on her recovery from the injury that ruled her out of the record-breaking final at the MCG.
And thankfully for cricket fans, she has no plans of giving up bowling anytime soon.
Perry was included in the extended Australian squad for the recent T20 and ODI series against New Zealand in Brisbane.
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The Australians won both series but Perry took no part in any of the six matches after what she called a slight ‘blip’ training for those matches.
“We sort of ended up taking a pretty conservative approach to the New Zealand series,” Perry told reporters from Hurstville Oval on Monday.
“I guess the hope of making sure we were 100 per cent to go with the start of the BBL.
“I think we’ve got another ten or so days before our first game so nice to have a little extra preparation here in Sydney, so should be all good.
“I think it’s easy to talk about those things when you’re not playing and you have a little challenge with an injury.
“But from my perspective, I still have a lot left to play.
“Cricket in general is a low impact sport, it’s not like I’m playing a contract sport.
“I’m not quite 30 yet so I still feel like I’ve got a lot left, I just need to get on the park again and keep playing and all this will be forgotten.
“The only way I want to play cricket is as both a batter and a bowler and I don’t think I offer enough just as a batter to keep playing and I don’t think I’d enjoy it either to be honest.”
At 29, Perry has become one of, if not the best, women’s cricketer in the world.
And while it’s been a long time since she’s played any form of cricket, having an extended period to train and get her body right has her confident for the season ahead.
“I’ve been training fully for close to a month,” Perry said.
“There’s just different things that are a little bit harder to control in matches so we wanted to make sure that I was exposed to that enough in training before playing again.
“I guess from my perspective, I’ve been very keen to make sure when I play again, it’s not at a lower level of capacity than I’m used to.
“It’s going really well, besides a little blimp we had up in Brisbane it’s all gone to plan.
“Fingers crossed that keeps going.
“If we were talking about right here right now if I’m playing in that first game (of the WBBL) and that’s certainly the goal.”
Perry also spoke about how important the WBBL is for women’s cricket and why it’s so vital the steps Cricket Australia have taken to ensure it can go ahead.
The tournament is set to take place entirely in Sydney with all eight teams going to be based in a NSW hub.
It means that for Perry and her Sydney Sixers, they’re in a great position to have a strong tournament without the interstate travel that is usually required.
The star all-round admits it will be a ‘unique’ tournament but it poses some interesting challenges for the players.
“This edition of the WBBL is certainly going to be a bit unique,” Perry said.
“The Sydney hub poses a lot of great opportunities for every team and I think some new challenges to.
“Certainly keeping fresh and not getting over the monotny of being in the same place for an extended period of time will be tough but I think there’s some great bonuses there in terms of finding plenty of time together, having fun and enjoying each other’s company will be really cool.
“There’s a lot that’s gone into making this competition work this season with the hub and certainly some of the commitment from players, especially those that aren’t full-time, is huge.
“The concessions that Cricket Australia have had to make in terms of getting this series up and all the planning around biosecurity and the impact that is having on everyone is huge.
“But at the end of the day, looking at it and what this competition has done for women’s cricket not just here but around the world, it makes it certainly very much worth it.
“It’s a bit of a trade off there but it’s six weeks and it’s going to be a wonderful experience and lots of memories I’m sure.”
The one thing the Big Bash, both the women’s and men’s editions, has become synonymous with is the high-level of interaction between players and fans.
With crowds usually packed with kids, the Big Bash is an opportunity for young boys and girls to interact with their cricketing idols.
Perry agrees that this facet of the Big Bash is certainly one of its best aspects and it’s one of the parts she enjoys the most.
But she also understands that with the enhanced biosecurity measures because of COVID-19
“It’s certainly going to be different this year with a lot of the social distancing rules but I think hopefully we still have the chance to have people along to games and have them tune in to watch our games and connect with fans, it’s probably most important to us,” Perry said.
“Hopefully we can have some crowd as well which would be great. Sydney is certainly home for us and we’ve built a really loyal group of supporters over the last five seasons, there’s lot of familiar faces that come to games.
“Hopefully that can continue. Even just seeing friends and family from a distance will be great.”
The Australian Women’s side is next set to take on India in a three-match ODI series starting in Canberra in January.
Perry believes that India coming to Australia for that series will be crucial for the sport.
“I think it’s been one of those years that we’ve all had to adapt to and make allowances and concessions,” Perry said.
“Obviously this summer is really important for the sport and hopefully getting India to come out, I think a lot hinges on that so I think we’re all really aware of that and want to make sure everything is done well leading up to that.
“I think we’re all going to learn a lot from this, both as athletes and life in general.”
The WBBL kicks off on October 25 and you can find all the details for the competition here.