Western Fury and Perth Scorchers batter Chloe Piparo chats about her early career in women’s cricket, the excitement of playing in the first WBBL competition, what it is like playing with some of the legends of women’s cricket, and her goals for her life off the field.
Debuting for the Western Fury in 2011-12 – what has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being part of the inaugural WBBL with the Perth Scorchers has been an amazing experience. It is an exciting time for women’s game and to see it grow so much in such a short time that I have been involved is great for the future of the game.
You have played with some of the best international players in the world in recent seasons including Katherine Brunt, Charlotte Edwards, and Suzie Bates – what have you learnt off these players to try to develop your own game?
It has been an absolute privilege playing with those players over the past few years. Watching how they all prepare for matches has been the biggest learning curve for me. They leave no stone unturned in their preparations and it has been great to get to know them. Charlotte and Suzie have been great mentors in terms of my batting, especially learning how to develop my game to play to all parts of the ground.
Having spent time listening to Matthew Hayden as your cricket role model – what do you admire about him? Do you have a female role model that you look up to in cricket also?
I’m pretty sure I was drawn to Matt Hayden because he was everything I wasn’t! A left handed, big bodied, power hitter (something I can only ever dream of being!). Jenny Wallace has been someone I’ve admired, how she goes about the game, and what she gives back to younger players.
You had a great game in Toowoomba a couple of season ago scoring 95 not out against the Queensland Fire; what are some of the benefits of taking a WNCL game to a regional centre like this?
I’m also from the country and I believe regional cricketers play a vital role in the development of women’s cricket. Country players often get lost to other sports or interests. But now there is a very clear pathway for women’s cricket and I think we will continue to see more girls from the country develop into really good players who have opportunities in the WBBL and beyond.
Playing limited overs cricket seems to be a strength of your game – do you aspire to further your career within the WBBL competition for the Scorchers?
Yes I would love to take my game to new levels in the WBBL. Sometimes people get carried away with players who can bash it around but good technique is going to score you runs in any format. I’ll continue to develop my game to be able to score 360 degrees and having played and trained with Charlotte the past couple of years I have been able to learn a lot about this aspect of batting from her.
How important is the WNCL competition in Australia for the development of young female cricketers?
It is extremely important! With the development of the WBBL competition, it will attract a lot of international players and this means that local players are going to miss out on opportunities in this format. The WNCL competition should ensure that those younger local players get good exposure to state cricket and can improve. I think it’s important we don’t lose fifty over cricket in the huge hype of Twenty20 cricket.
It is an exciting time for young female cricketers aspiring to higher goals with the WBBL, WNCL and the Southern Stars squads. The move towards professionalism for women’s cricketer is exciting and a changing time for female sport – how will this benefit the players like yourself and younger generations to come?
It is a very exciting time to be involved. I think it will create an improved national competition in Australia. If players are able to primarily play cricket then it’s going to mean the standard of the women’s game will improve drastically. It will also create a lot less anxiety for players regarding financial situations and keep them in the game longer.
What is your dream job apart from cricket and what are the steps needed to get there?
To be honest I am still trying to figure this out!
Having completed a Beyond the Boundary program initiative last year where you spent the week as a physiotherapist with the Perth Glory – was this a good experience and being a physiotherapist a goal for your off-field career in future?
The Beyond the Boundary program is a great initiative by the ACA. It was great to spend time with the Perth Glory and I learnt some great things about the sporting industry. I enjoyed the experience and it helped me realise that physiotherapy isn’t a career I see myself following in the near future but that I am keen to keep learning in an off-field capacity. Watch Chloe's Beyond the Boundary video here.
How has the ACA supported young cricketers like yourself to achieve your on-field and off-field goals?
The ACA has helped me immensely particularly providing me a head start with university through an education grant to pursue my studies. Their continued support to help me in my off-field pursuits through the Beyond the Boundary program has been a great experience. It is a massive positive for the women’s game and it takes the stress off life outside of cricket which makes it a lot easier to focus on training and playing at my best.
You currently live in Perth – what do you do in your spare time away from cricket?
In my spare time I spend as much time as I can with my family and little nieces who are growing up quickly!
Fun fact about Chloe Piparo most people don’t know about you?
I can lick my elbow, which is supposed to be impossible!