Melbourne Stars and VicSpirit wicketkeeper-batter Emma Inglis goes one-on-one with the ACA to discuss the WBBL, her aspirations to be a dietitian, her English County cricket experience and how she gets the best out of herself.
What was your favourite moment of WBBL01 and what did you learn about your own game?
My favourite moment was running out for the first game of WBBL01 at Junction Oval and seeing the 1500 plus crowd supporting both teams. The vibe was amazing and it was great to see so many young girls and boys getting to see their role models in action. About my own game - I learnt that twenty overs is a long time for a batting side and I have more time to bat than I actually thought I did. I also learnt to back myself more.
Learning from the best – who is your mentor or someone you look up to in your life and cricket career?
During my younger years I had Ando Aparo (a former Victorian keeper) as my mentor and Club Captain. She taught me the value of a good work ethic with the gloves, a lot about the game and keeping in general. She was one of the most determined players I played with and showed me the meaning of not giving up and a positive attitude.
What sacrifices does it take to become a great elite cricketer?
Sometimes you have to sacrifice a "normal" life particularly through the high school and university years as much of your time is dedicated to training. Less time socialising with friends and more early morning training sessions around work and study. Sometimes you miss the social aspect outside of the game. I have also put my career ambitions second behind cricket which has slowed my off-field career progression for now. However, the positives are the people you meet, networks you create, bonds you form with team mates and experiences we are privileged to have as elite cricketers.
In your off-field career, you balance university study, part-time work with Melbourne University Sport and other pursuits? What is the secret to being a balanced and happy cricketer?
Time management, communication and having a supportive team around me are the keys to making it all work. It is busy but if you enjoy it, and still find time to relax it’s great.
You have spent some time in England playing County Cricket with Middlesex – what did you learn from this experience?
I absolutely loved my time at Middlesex. I was captained by Beth Morgan (former English player) and learnt a lot about resilience from her. I also learnt about adjusting my game for different conditions and working on my game independent of my team back home. I also learnt that County Cricket produces some great afternoon teas and scones!
You are known for your lightning quick hands behind the stumps – have you always enjoyed wicket keeping?
Yes, I love wicket keeping because you're always involved in the game – it’s a position where you can impact the game through presence and energy and really driving your team positively in the field.
Any thoughts on how ACA has supported you in your off-field and on-field career?
The ACA have been a great support for me personally. Off-field, I have utilised Education Grants for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to support me in my nutrition career goals, as well as completed the Level 2 Coaching Course. I am also currently utilising the Beyond the Boundary program through a Dietitian placement with Metro Dietetics in Melbourne. The ACA Members Function each year has also allowed me to connect with past players and gain a greater respect of what they went through as players.
On field the ACA have been fantastic in advocating for greater minimum standards and working environments for the female players. The standards of both playing environment and skill have increased exponentially since I began in the system approximately ten years ago. It’s fantastic knowing the ACA are there to support the male and female players.
What is the next step for women’s cricket?
On the back of the successful WBBL last year and the focus on women's sport at the moment hopefully women's cricket will progress to a stage where it can become a legitimate option as a career for women around the country.