Women’s cricket celebration, featuring Matthew Mott & Meg Lanning, Dr Watson’s Bar, 415 Collins St., Melbourne, May 8
Little more than 30 attended this joint function. It deserved 300-plus. It was truly sensational. Truly.
We realize our memberships are ageing. Positioning it immediately after work, 5.30 p.m. for 6 p.m. at a central location in town was smart. Or so we thought.
If those who missed out want to continue to watch from afar, functions like this simply won’t happen again.
Matthew Mott, head coach of the Australian national women’s cricket team, spoke eloquently and passionately about his role in steering, nurturing and encouraging the best women’s team in the world who are united, self-effacing and a great credit to themselves.
National team captain, Melbourne’s own Meg Lanning, spoke of the challenges ahead, the Ashes in July and the huge tri-series in the New Year of 2020 with heavyweights India and England.
The two of them, in partnership with the leadership group had drawn a line in the sand after unexpected losses at World Cup level, both in the Fifty 50s and Twenty20s.
‘We had a five page document we thought was pretty good and we simply tore it up,’ said Mott.
‘We changed our entire philosophy, elevating those with the highest strike-rates up the order and giving them a license to play shots straight away.
‘All the girls wanted to play fearlessly.
‘In the past we’d been content to beat teams in the final overs. Now we want to blow them away, each and every time.’
Interviewed by our president Ken Piesse, the pair remembered their early days, Lanning as a Year 10 bowler in Carey Grammar’s first XI (‘out swingers with not much pace on them’) ands Mott, a Gold Coast boy, who debuted with Queensland in the mid ‘90s alongside one of his close mates Andrew Symonds.
Lanning missed the 2017 Ashes series with a shoulder injury. She says her enforced 12 month lay off has freshened her and made her so keen for the contest, it almost hurts.
Mott said he’d never met anyone more competitive, anywhere, anytime, male or female.
Both were incredibly generous with their time, posing for pictures and loving the environment of mingling with so many like-minded cricket lovers.
Keith Jantz the long-time coach of Frankston was among the guests and fondly recalled Mott’s contribution in helping to take the Heat from cellar dwellers into the 2002-03 Premier League final.
Mott scored almost 800 runs at 50-plus that year. The semi final against Camberwell remains one of his ‘magic’ moments as a player or a coach. ‘They won on the first innings and were packing up, close to tea-time on the second day, happy to be in the following weekend’s final,’ he said. ‘We’d hardly played any finals and wanted to get out there again. Wally (Cam Wallace) and Grover (Darren Groves) got them 5-5 and then all out for under 30. We won with half an hour to spare.’
Mott spoke about how more relaxed he was as a coach, thanks to his mentor Patrick Farhart, the well-known and much-travelled cricket physiotherapist, who continues to assist.
Mott, Lanning and the team are shortly to go into camp, with a view of winning the Ashes come July.
We wish them all the best and were just so thankful they spoke to us. It was one of the great cricketing evenings. If you missed it, ask someone who was there and get a run down. It’ll be worth it. – KP