The inclusion in Aussie’s team for this year’s away Ashes series is going to be second tour to England for all-rounder Delissa Kimmince. But it’s safe to say that this English experience will be in stark contrast to her first foray to the United Kingdom in 2011. The UK holds a special place in the player’s heart as she had walked away from the game she loved, turning down an Australian contract just one year after making her debut in the green and gold.
Working and living at The Princess Louise in Holborn, Kimmince was a world away from the pressures of sport and the life she’d known growing up in Warwick in south-east Queensland. And it was exactly what she needed, as she sought to find out who she was without cricket as a constant.
Talking about that time in her life, Kimmince said, “There were 10 Aussies and one English guy all living in the pub and 4am was our bedtime, it was the most bizarre lifestyle. I never really drank or partied before that, when I went there I found myself doing it for 10 months, and then I came back home and I didn’t really do it again. I worked 40 hours a week in the pub … I loved living in London, nothing felt real."
But it was only a matter of time before Kimmince found herself drawn back to cricket. It was that experience – and the friendships she forged along the way – that paved the way for her eventual return to high-level cricket in Australia.
"I wasn’t training because of where I was living and it proved to me that when there’s no expectation you do play with a lot more freedom. That’s what I took away from it, if you go out there to enjoy yourself and have fun you are more likely to perform than if you’re putting all that expectation and pressure on yourself,” she added.