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Keeping it fun!

Alyssa Healy is a cricket superstar and wicketkeeper in the Australian team competing in the ICC Women’s World Cup. She also led her team the Sydney Sixers to a win against Perth Scorchers in the WBBL back in January and at 16 was the first ever girl to be picked to play among a team of boys in an elite NSW private schools cricket competition. For Alyssa, cricket runs in the family. Her uncle, Ian Healy, is former Australian Test wicket-keeper but her love of cricket is all her own. Kidzone got to have a chat with Alyssa before she headed off to England to compete in the World Cup.

What are you looking forward to most at the ICC Women’s World Cup? I am really looking forward to the competition over in England. It is a great chance to test our skills against the best players around the world. Fingers crossed we can perform really well and bring home the trophy!

How has the team prepared for the comp? The team has spent a total of five weeks up in Queensland in camp to help us prepare for the tournament. The five weeks has consisted of lots of fitness, skills training and games to make sure that we are ready to go on 26 June in our first game!

What kind of training do you have to undertake to perform the role of wicket keeper? I do lots of training in the gym to make sure that my lower body is strong and ready to cope with long days of cricket. I also do lots of game-specific training, so catching lots of balls up to the stumps and lots of side skips to make sure I’m moving smoothly back to the fast bowlers!

How do you keep your focus when you are under pressure? I make sure that I prepare thoroughly for every game or tournament, so then I know that when I am under pressure in a game, I can just rely on my skills to get the team out of any trouble!

Cricket has been a big part of your life and family but was there ever a time when you didn’t want to play? There have been many times that I have thought I didn’t want to play cricket any more. But every time I fully reflect on my cricketing career I realise that I actually love playing it and I couldn’t imagine myself working behind a desk for a living instead!

You’ve been competing since you were young. How has the game changed for you over time? The game has changed a little bit since I first started playing when I was seven! T20 cricket has been a great addition to the game and all of us really enjoy playing and watching a fast-paced and exciting style of cricket. It’s always great to see so many young kids coming down to watch the WBBL and BBL!

More and more girls are getting into cricket, where do you see the sport heading in the future? It is really exciting to see where cricket can get to in the future. I’m so proud to see more and more young girls enjoying cricket! There are so many opportunities for young girls to play the game now, which is fantastic, and I hope it continues to grow and make Australian cricket even stronger in the future.

If you were to recommend playing cricket to someone who had never played before what would you say? Give it a try! It’s a fun and exciting sport that you get to enjoy with 10 of your friends!

Do you have any tips for our cricket-enthusiastic readers? My biggest tip is to “Watch the Ball!” It makes a big difference when you are watching the ball! Other than that I would say to just enjoy the game. Cricket is way more fun when you have a big smile on your face!

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