19.05.2008 – Graham Croker
Universities Women’s Cricket Club all-rounder Alex Blackwell is spending the off-season playing in the England Cricket Board’s Super 4s competition.
Blackwell, 24, and Australian Southern Stars team-mate Leah Poulton are the only two international players participating in the competition.
“It’s a competition which features the best of the best from England over a 10-week period,” Blackwell said.
A medical graduate, Blackwell has decided to put her energies into cricket before committing to her chosen career, and with good reason.
Having established herself in the NSW and Australian sides, she is looking forward to the ICC Women’s World Cup to be played in Australia in March 2009.
“I’m really putting cricket as my number one thing at the moment,” she said. “I have done that through my whole career, but I’m really focussing on it now. I’ve made a few career choices so that I can play all of the cricket I want to play.”
Blackwell debuted for NSW in 2001, having captained New South Wales Under-19s to their 13th consecutive Australian Championship and being named NSW Under-19 Player of the Year.
She was selected in the Australian Youth Team in 2001-02 and was the highest run scorer in their four match series against New Zealand.
Blackwell made her Test debut against England in Brisbane in 2003 and her Australian one-day debut the same year.
She rescued Australia in a qualifying game against New Zealand during the 2005 World Cup in South Africa when she scored 53 in a match-winning 85-run partnership with Cathryn Fitzpatrick at Pretoria.
And that was while completing a medical degree.
While some players find the off-season break helpful in their preparation for the new season, Blackwell feels at this stage of her career, a season of cricket in England will only benefit her game.
“At the moment I feel like I want more and more cricket,” she said. “Hopefully being in the team for the World Cup and being able have the chance of winning one on home soil will be great.”
“I think all the girls in the national team do really well working out what’s the best situation for them and looking after themselves outside of cricket. We really enjoy the time we have to represent our country and wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else.”