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From football to cricket teacher

A stylish left-hander and gun advocate, Beth Mooney has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Born on January 14, 1994, Mooney played different sports like football, tennis, Australian rules football and cricket while growing up. Just before her eighth birthday, she was asked to replace her brother Tom, for his cricket team. That was just the start and from there she made regular appearances for Kialla Lakes Cricket Club.

Australian and Queensland cricketer Beth Mooney is proving to be a big hit on the football pitch. Photo: Valerie Horton Framooney

At the age of 11, Mooney was identified as the team’s best receiver in the Hervey Bay Zone Trials and the team’s coach advised her to become a wicketkeeper. Mooney took her coach’s advice, which is evident from the fact that she was selected as a wicketkeeper for the Queensland Primary School girls’ team. She was doing very well and at the age of 13 she was expected to play for Australia. Later, she made her way into the senior Queensland women’s junior team. Meanwhile, until the age of 18, she continued to play for the Hervey Bay Cavaliers men’s team, as there were no women’s cricket teams at the time.

Beth Mooney smashed a Match Winning Century for the Perth Scorchers.  PC: WBBL
Beth Mooney smashed a Match Winning Century for the Perth Scorchers. PC: WBBL

She made her national debut for Queensland Fire in 2009 aged 16. After delivering quality performances as a wicketkeeper for Queensland Fire domestically, Mooney made her international debut in 2016 against India in the T20I and against New Zealand. in the ODIs. A year later, in 2017, she made her Test debut against England. A few years before making her international debut in 2016, Mooney considered becoming a teacher. She also signed up for the teaching diploma, but left the course to focus on her cricket.

After making her international debut for Australia, Mooney went from strength to strength. She was part of the Australian team that won the 2014, 2018 and 2020 T20 World titles. During the 2020 World T20, she stitched an opening partnership of 151 runs with Alyssa Healy to record the highest partnership of all Australians for all wickets in a Women’s T20I. In the 2020 T20 World Cup Final held at Melbourne’s iconic cricket ground in front of a record crowd of 86,174, Mooney was Australia’s top scorer scoring 78 from 54. bullets to beat India and propel Australia to their fifth World T20. Title.

Australian women's cricket team
Australia women’s cricket team. Photo credits: ICC/Getty Images

Riding on her phenomenal form, in the same year, she became the world’s best hitter in women’s T20I cricket. In 2021 Mooney was named Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World for her performances in the previous year. She also became the first player to score 3000 runs in the Women’s Big Bash League in 2020. She was also part of Australia’s squad at the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. However, the six-time champions were eliminated by India from the World Cup in the semi-finals.

In addition to being a prolific hitter, Mooney is an electric outfielder. She is exceptional inside the circle as well as in the outfield. She is also a fighter. A testament to her fighting ability is when she took to the field in the Women’s Ashes Test in January 2022. The southpaw suffered a broken jaw during a training session and had to undergo a surgical intervention.

Beth Mooney out of Women's Ashes series due to fractured jaw
Beth Mooney out of Women’s Ashes series due to a fractured jaw. PC: Getty Images

She was left out of the three-game T20I series against England which was played as part of the Women’s Ashes just before the single test. With three metal plates on her face and wire on her lower teeth, she made herself available for the test. Mooney was limited to eating soup, milkshakes and ice cream through a straw. Despite being on some sort of liquid diet, the gritty cricketer was determined to feature for Australia in the longest format.

Australia flyhalf Beth Mooney was left with a broken jaw after being hit by a ball in the net ahead of the Women's Ashes series against England.  PC: Cricket Australia / YouTube
Australia flyhalf Beth Mooney was left with a broken jaw after being hit by a ball in the net ahead of the Women’s Ashes series against England. PC: Cricket Australia / YouTube

She was an accomplished performer, thanks to her batting exploits and her on-court credentials. As well as playing international cricket for Australia, she has participated in global franchise cricket tournaments like the Women’s T20 Challenge, in which she represented the Trailblazers, the Women’s Cricket Super League in England, in which she represented the Yorkshire Diamonds and of course, Australia’s own Women’s Big. Bash League, in which she represented Brisbane Heat from 2015 to 2019 and Perth Scorchers from 2020 to date. Mooney led Brisbane Heat to back-to-back WBBL titles in 2018 and 2019 as she won player of the match in both finals.

I am a former cricketer who represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was among the probable MCAs for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been a passionate cricket writer for five years. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD at IIT Bombay.