A stylish southpaw and a gun fielder, Beth Mooney has out and out been a sports buff right from her childhood. Born on January 14, 1994, Mooney played different sports like soccer, tennis, Australian rules football, and cricket, while growing up. Just before her eighth birthday, she was invited to fill in for her brother Tom, for his cricket team. That was just the beginning and from then on she made regular appearances for Kialla Lakes Cricket Club.
At the age of 11, Mooney was identified as the best catcher of the team during the Hervey Bay Zone trials and the team’s coach advised her to take up wicket-keeping. Mooney complied with her coach’s advice, which is evident from the fact that she was selected as a wicket-keeper for the Queensland Primary School girls team. She was doing really well for herself and by the time she was 13, she was being tipped to play for Australia. Later she made her way through the higher-level junior Queensland girls team. Meanwhile, till the age of 18, she continued playing for Hervey Bay’s boys’ Cavaliers team, as there were no girl’s cricket teams back then.
She made her domestic debut for Queensland Fire in 2009 at the age of 16. After delivering quality performances as a wicket-keeper bat for Queensland Fire at the domestic level, Mooney made her international debut in 2016 against India in the T20Is and against New Zealand in ODIs. A year later, in 2017, she made her Test debut against England. A couple of years before making her international debut in 2016, Mooney contemplated becoming a teacher. She also enrolled herself for the teaching degree, however, she quit the course to concentrate on her cricket.
After making her international debut for Australia, Mooney went from strength to strength. She was a part of the Australian team that won 2014, 2018, and 2020 World T20 titles. During the 2020 World T20, she stitched a 151-run opening partnership with Alyssa Healy to register the highest partnership by any Australian for any wicket in a women’s T20Is. In the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup that was played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of a record crowd of 86,174, Mooney top-scored for Australia muscling 78 runs off 54 balls to beat India and power Australia to their fifth World T20 title.
Riding on her phenomenal form, in the same year, she became the world’s number one batter in women’s T20I cricket. In 2021, Mooney was named as the 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 a part of the Australian squad in the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. However, the six-time champions were knocked out by India from the World Cup in the semi-finals.
— Female Cricket #CWC22 (@imfemalecricket) January 26, 2022
Apart from being a prolific batter, Mooney is an electric fielder. She is exceptional inside the circle as well as in the outfield. She is a fighter too. A testimony to her fighting ability is when she took to the field during the women’s Ashes Test in January 2022. The southpaw suffered from a jaw fracture during a practice session and had to undergo surgery.
She was ruled out of the three-match T20I series against England that was played as a part of the Women’s Ashes just before the one-off Test. With three metal plates in her face and wire on her bottom teeth, she made herself available for the Test. Mooney was restricted to eating soup, milkshakes, and ice cream through a straw. Despite being on a sort of liquid diet, the gritty cricketer was determined to feature for Australia in the longest format.
She has been a thorough entertainer, thanks to her batting exploits and fielding credentials. Apart from playing international cricket for Australia, she has featured in global franchise cricket tournaments like the Women’s T20 Challenge, in which she represented Trailblazers, Women’s Cricket Super League in England, in which she represented Yorkshire Diamonds and of course, Australia’s very 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 bagged the player of the match in both the finals.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.