BY SIMON DRAYCOTT
The youngest, at 16, to play in the Women’s Big Bash League in 2015-16, Georgia Wareham is the pride of Mortlake and quite rightly so.
Wareham debuted in the red of the Melbourne Renegades at the Gabba in December. “It was pretty amazing walking out there (against the Brisbane Heat),” she said.
“To be wearing Renegades gear was amazing, and playing alongside so many great cricketers and against so many other great cricketers is a moment I’m never going to forget.” From Mortlake, a small country town in western Victoria, two and a half hours drive from Melbourne, Wareham started playing with her extended family and joined the local Milo-have-a-go program, from where her career has blossomed.
“I grew up with lots of cousins in the town who always get together and play a game of cricket,” she said. “I’ve got a brother who plays cricket, he’s a bit older than me. We’re always battling it out in the backyard.” In addition to making her WBBL debut, Wareham was a frontliner in Victoria under-18s’ National Championship win in January. After years of falling short, the Victorians finally defeated arch rivals New South Wales in the final with Wareham making 40 not out and claiming three for 31 with the ball.
“[Wining the National Championships] was amazing. We’d played so many years where we beat New South Wales in the rounds and then lost in the final. All the girls had been through losing to NSW and it was really good to finally get that win.”
When not representing the Renegades or Victorian under age teams, Wareham plays for Mortlake in the men’s A-grade competition, and believes the experience of playing against men has helped her development as a player.
“It can be scary at times when you’ve got big men running into bowl to you.
“It kind of gives me that extra edge I guess, but I really enjoy the challenge. I’ve done it all through juniors, playing with boys, so it’s something I’m used to.”
Wareham can’t wait for the new summer to start. She is concentrating on improving her game and learning in any way possible. She looks up to Australian captain Meg Lanning and has learnt much from Victorian youth coach Duncan Harrison.
However as a young leg spin bowler she takes on any advice offered from spin king, Shane Warne.
“Watching ‘Warnie’ has been pretty influential.”
“Listening to him talk about the processes he goes through is something I’ve always thought was really interesting and tried to add that to my game.”
* Georgia Wareham will receive her Young Cricketer of the Year award in June at the ACS’s 49th annual dinner.