It was a crisp morning in Darwin as a dozen girls and women arrived at Marrara Cricket Ground for a cricket clinic focussing on power hitting. David Warner was a special guest and played a support role to Mark Sorell, NT Cricket’s Senior Manager of Pathways and Cricket, and former Head Coach of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team.
Sorell coached the Southern Stars to 17 ODI victories, from 21 games after a stint with the South Australian WNCL Scorpions. We're fortunate to have someone of his calibre in the Northern Territory to oversee and develop the Cricket Pathway opportunities for our male and female emerging players, to give them every opportunity to make it to the next level.
Sorell lives and breathes cricket and when he’s coaching, he connects with the players on a level that builds excitement and makes them really believe in themselves.
As the girls and women assembled, the ground was quickly marked with the pattern of footprints in the dew as the players dodged and weaved their way through an agility session to get the feet moving and the muscles firing, all essentials for a good performance with the bat.
A buzz went around the group as David Warner joined them and they headed to the Undercover nets to practice some shots. It was a low key appearance for Warner, without fuss or fanfare and we appreciated his effort in setting aside some time in his schedule.
Warner encouraged the girls and women who turned out for the Power Hitting Clinic as they were put through their paces in the nets, reminding them to watch the ball, stay balanced and have a good free swing. “In the end, cricket is a simple game, sometimes we try to make it too complicated” he said, “just keep things simple and watch the ball”.
A timely reminder that even when you make it to the highest level, you’ve still got to get the basic things right.
Working in pairs, the girls were driving hard in no time, ruffling the nets with some good clean hits before they were ready to take to the field to try their form with some big hook and pull shots.
“I don’t think I can do this” said one youngster as she made her way out to bat. Sorell was onto it straight away – “if you think you can’t, you won’t be able to do it. Decide you can do it, because I know you can”. A few lobs later and she was launching the ball 30 metres. The power of the mind is incredible, as is the power of a coach who believes in you.
Being free from the confines of the nets meant the players could see just how far the ball travelled when they made contact. Soon, the parents and all others assembled were chasing and dodging the balls racing across the ground. The cheers went up when the ball cleared the rope and the confidence our players gained from the session was priceless.
David has two young daughters and is husband to Candice Warner, (nee Falzon) national Surf Lifesaving Champion and professional IronWoman. Warner understands the importance of giving girls an opportunity to engage in sports at a young age, develop their skills and encourage them to reach their potential. He no doubt wants to make sure cricket is in good shape across Australia, should his daughters want to take up the game in future. It was generous of him to make a guest appearance, prior to his Arnhem Land visit and he enjoyed the group’s enthusiasm, love for the game and desire to improve.
With women’s cricket flourishing in Alice Springs, through Club and Pathway opportunities, it is great to see the enthusiasm for women’s cricket growing in the Top End with the recent Girl’s Sunset League and the new Women’s Cricket League running on Friday nights.
Later this year, the Women’s Strike League will be played for the second season and will feature our developing players battling it out in the T20 format. After witnessing some big hits around the ground this morning, we’re looking forward to some exciting cricket ahead for our women and girls in the Northern Territory.
Thanks to David Warner for spending some time with us during his NT visit and we look forward to welcoming him back to NT Cricket when he is next in the Territory.
For more information about cricket for Women and Girls in the NT:
- NT Women's Strike League 2018 - contact Cameron Carroll via email or phone 8944 8900 for dates and details about this T20 cricket competition
- Top End Women's Cricket League - contact Mitch Farnell via email or phone 8944 8900 for program dates and details for the Friday night competition
- Alice Springs Women's Cricket Association - contact Amber Ashton via email at email@example.com
- Tennant Creek Women's Cricket - contact Irena by email at Irena.Edwards-Kelly@catholiccarent.org.au
or phone the NT Cricket head office on (08) 8944 8900