Wednesday, April 17, 2024

My body’s been through a lot; super excited for the call to India, says Australia’s Lauren Cheatle

After being called up for Australia’s Test squad for the multi-format tour of India next month, left-arm pacer Lauren Cheatle said she is super excited for the opportunity which comes after her admitting that ‘my body’s been through a lot’.

Lauren represented Australia in international cricket in 2016, and was a member of the team for the Women’s T20 World Cup in India in the same year. She was recalled for Australia’s ODI series against New Zealand in 2019, but has not played internationally due to four shoulder constructions as well as surviving a skin cancer scare in 2021.

In WBBL 2023, Lauren is the leading wicket-taker for Sydney Sixers with 19 scalps at an average of 13.68 in 10 matches, after playing 15 matches last season.

“I did think the green and gold was probably behind me, not that I wanted to stop trying. I think the game has moved so far ahead and you can see the talent coming through is getting better and better.”

“They’re one of the best teams in world sport, not just cricket, so to be able to be in that 16 is (something) I’m really proud of. My body’s been through a lot and I’ve been through that journey but I’m super excited to get that call to head over to India,” Lauren was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Lauren admitted that her fourth shoulder reconstruction was a testing time, but it was the skin cancer scare which left her hugely scared. “(The) fourth shoulder (reconstruction) was pretty difficult and also the cancer scare. I feel like that came out of nowhere and really readjusted the way I thought about injuries and recovery. That was a really scary point in my career, one I never thought I’d face…it’s one that will never go away.”

“The frustration of another shoulder reconstruction after already going through three was pretty major and I kind of felt there was no point doing it again if I was going to re-hurt myself. But we took the time to rehab that properly and made all the right decisions.”

“I think professional sport throws many different challenges at you. I feel like my journey has thrown a few more as well…but the people who supported me all through that have been amazing and a major part of why I’m still going.”

Lauren has recent first-class experience in her kitty, taking 2-73 in 19 overs against a full-strength England side in a warm-up match, and has wished to see more multi-day games in women’s cricket.

“(It’s about) being more patient with the red ball and stacking bigger overs together. In (the T20) format you get one or two (overs) here and there and you don’t really get time to consistently put performances together. The batters are obviously coming a lot harder (in T20) and you set up a batter a lot differently and have more time to work around plans.”

“It’ll be interesting to shift from T20 cricket to red-ball cricket but I think the basics are the same in any format. I really enjoyed those three-day games and love bowling overs. The more I bowl the happier I am so I’d like to think it’s a format I could suit, but it’s also a format I’d love to see come into the women’s game, whether that’s two-day or three-day. I think it’s a format that could really excel in women’s cricket.”

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