By Linsey Smith

When I dreamt about coming to Australia to play in the Big Bash, playing with hand warmers and numerous layers for every game wasn’t a part of it!

It’s been pretty cold so far, I have to say. But it’s been so much fun to be a part of, the girls have been very welcoming, and I’m loving every second of it.

In the two games I’ve played, we have lost one and won one. We also had another rained off at the weekend.

I got my first wicket in the Big Bash, not one of my best but caught on the boundary in our defeat against Hobart last week. It was a great catch from Annabel Sutherland. She’s a great player, and all the fielding has been of a really high standard out here.

We then beat Sydney Sixers the following day, and I was delighted to be able to contribute 1-15 from four overs as we defended a target of 140. That was a fantastic win.

The first game was quite tough with Rachel Priest hitting it all around the park with a century. So to come back with a performance like that against the Sixers was really good. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come.

I had spent a winter playing club cricket in Sydney with Parramatta a few years ago. During that time, I was lucky enough to be able to train with the New South Wales Breakers. So I knew a few of the Sydney girls. It was nice to see some friendly faces, but more importantly to know a bit more about their games.

We have two massive games coming up over the next two days, against Sydney Thunder tomorrow and then Hobart again on Wednesday.

The girls were really happy with the performance we put in against the Sixers, and we are starting to gel as a team now. If we can come away with a couple of wins, that will stand us in really good stead for the rest of the competition.

We then have two more games here in Launceston at the weekend before moving onto Adelaide, where we will be based for the rest of the competition.

I spoke to Lottie (Charlotte Edwards) earlier and said, ‘Please tell me it’s warm’. And she was like, ‘Yes, it’s very hot’. No need for hand warmers!

I think we’ve been set up with a hotel on the beach, which should be lovely.

It was a pretty tough two weeks in quarantine.

I’d come out of a non-stop season with the Diamonds and the Superchargers, and the decision I made to come out here to the Big Bash was one which happened very quickly.

You spend the whole summer around your team and are here, there and everywhere, and then you step foot into a hotel room for two weeks on your own. It kind of hits you, ‘Oh well, you’re on your own now’.

It was nice to have some downtime and let the body relax. But it was tough being completely on your own. Still, it was worth it to be involved in this competition.

It was made all the more easier by the fact we were supplied with a treadmill, a bike and a set of weights.

That meant I could make a plan to train in the days and had a two-week schedule where I would tick things off to show I was getting there.

Not only did it help to kill the time, it was also important in getting me ready to hit the ground running. When you come out and have your first game in a couple of days, you have to be ready to go. You can’t just have sit on your backside for two weeks.

Cricket Australia supplied all the gym stuff, and the teams have been fantastic as well. All the girls going through quarantine were really thankful for that.

I mentioned the catch that Annabel Sutherland took off my bowling in my first game. The standard of fielding is something that definitely stood out to me straightaway.

It’s not just in matches, it’s training as well. All the girls are well drilled and produce an intensity as well as a high standard.

In training, it’s a big focus for them in every session.

In some of the English teams, you can kind of spot a couple of weak fielders. Here, everyone is at a very high standard. I’m not saying we’re miles apart because our structure is improving all the time. There are some more contracts coming, and the sooner we can have a squad of 15 fully contracted players and everyone can have time on task, the standard will go up even quicker.

The fielding has massively improved already. If you’re weak in the field nowadays, you can definitely come unstuck.

But, overall, it’s a massive credit to the work being done across the board back home that we’ve got four girls out here playing and putting in good performances.

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