As soon as the footy season comes to a close, spring sets in, the lawns are mown and keen cricketers pour out of the woodwork to their local nets and ovals for a hit and a bowl.
For Australian Southern Stars vice-captain and Sydney Thunder WBBL cricketer Rachael Haynes and her national teammates, they’re coming in to their upcoming series against the New Zealand White Ferns on the back of a long preseason.
“We’re working really well together and the side is building some great momentum coming in to the summer,” she said.
The Australian women will host the Kiwis in a three-match, T20I series, with game 3 to be played at Manuka Oval on 5 October.
Haynes said very little separates the world’s top four sides, so they’ll have to bring their A-game.
“They’ve got some real standout players … I’m sure they will be really eager to get their summer off to a great start,” she said.
As a firmly established member of the side’s leadership group, Haynes said she loves the fact the squad has a number of strong leaders within it.
She had the honour of captaining the side in place of injured skipper Meg Lanning for the 2017/18 Ashes series.
“One of the things that really shone through to me was the support that came through from both my teammates and the Australian public,” she said.
Manuka Oval is a notoriously flat deck with a blistering outfield, which is something that has Haynes licking her lips as a batter.
“It’s a little bit unforgiving if you’re a bowler; obviously the outfield is lightning quick as well so there’s not a lot of margin for error.
“It’s a real community feel and it’s nice that the crowd can be so close to the players as well.
“We’d love to see everyone down at Manuka Oval … We’d love to see you down there and come say G’day because we all love to have a chat.”
The Australian Southern Stars host the New Zealand White Ferns at Manuka Oval on Friday 5 October 7.20pm; cricket.com.au