Southern Stars players Holly Ferling, Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning holding a skills session with junior girls’ teams from Tuggeranong Valley Cricket Club. Photo: Elesa KurtzPlaying in Canberra brings back plenty of memories for Southern Stars all-rounder Ellyse Perry.
Perry was a staple in the nation’s capital a few years ago as part of Canberra United’s W-League squad, forging a double life as a dual-international in cricket and football.
As Canberra turned on the weather to herald the arrival of the Australian squad for its two fixtures against South Africa at Manuka Oval beginning on Friday, there was nowhere else Perry would rather be.
“We always get really strong support from the Canberra community which are really fantastic in terms of turning up to sporting events and things that are going on in the community,” Perry said.
“I’ve been fortunate to experience that first-hand and I’m sure that’ll be the same on Friday and Sunday so it’s really nice to be back around.”
Perry picked up 4-45 and scored 90 in her last trip to Manuka Oval and she will be looking to repeat the dose against the Proteas.
She is in form – a WNCL ton to go with a handy spell for the Governor General’s XI (1-13) has Perry brimming with confidence after returning from a knee injury.
She captained the Governor General’s XI to a win over the Proteas where she got bragging rights over her “very fiery” Sydney Sixers teammate, Marizanne Kapp, after claiming the wicket of the Proteas all-rounder.
“It was really nice to have the opportunity to play them I guess one game earlier on the weekend,” Perry said ahead of the five-match series.
“They’re a really good side, they’ve got some players in form and I think we certainly see [Friday] and the weekend and the rest of the matches as a good challenge for us.”
The South African series is among the last of the one-day international fixtures on the Southern Stars’ calendar in the lead-up to next year’s ICC Women’s World Cup which begins in June.
It means there is no shortage of players putting their hand up for a spot with Perry saying competition for a place in the Southern Stars’ line-up is “red hot”.
“I think that’s a really fantastic thing for the depth of our squad and women’s cricket in Australia and I guess in terms of us improving the way we play going forward as well,” Perry said.
“I think the more competition you have and the more people pushing for spots it means everyone has got to work hard and keep improving and not just stagnate on what they’re doing well at the moment.
“It’s a really exciting time for our team and the girls close to breaking into the team.
“The national competition, the WNCL, has been going really well for the last month or two and there’s been some great performances from the girls in the Australian team but also those outside of the Australian team, so it’s really strong at the moment.”
ICC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.
Sunday: Southern Stars v South Africa at Manuka Oval, 2.30pm.
Southern Stars squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alex Blackwell (vc), Kristen Beams, Nicole Bolton, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani