Julia Price, First female to Coach a WBBL Team, an unsung personality, turns 49

Australia as a country boasts of rich sporting culture and outstanding sportspersons. It’s no wonder that year after year they find replacements who are equally good, if not better than, the ones they replaced. It’s no wonder that they have more trophies in their cabinet than any other team. Today, we are celebrating the birthday of Julia Price, one such player who has been a part of two successful World Cup campaigns for Australia.

Julia Price played 107 games for Queensland between 1993-94 and 2006-07 and a further 38 for Tasmania (Reuters Photo)
Julia Price played 107 games for Queensland between 1993-94 and 2006-07 and a further 38 for Tasmania (Reuters Photo)

 

Born on 11th January 1972, Julia made her international debut at the age of 24 against New Zealand as a wicket-keeper. Even though she made her debut in a team full of superstars like Belinda Clark, Karen Rolton, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, she stood side by side with them, and from behind the stumps, she was a force to reckon with.

Just a year after making her debut, she was a part of the 1997 Women’s World Cup. The tournament which is famous for Belinda Clark’s double century wasn’t the best for Julia as an individual. Such was the dominance of the Australian top order that Julia didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the middle. But she does have the very rare and unusual feat of winning the World Cup in the first attempt to her name.

Every sportsperson has to deal with the peaks and troughs of their career and Julia Price was no different. In 2003, just a couple of years before the 2005 World Cup, she was dropped from the Australian side which led her to miss the 2004 season. While that is a huge disappointment, a player’s temperament, grit, and determination are reflected in what he does to make a comeback. Julia trained hard and played the best that she could and through sheer hard work got picked for the World Cup.

Also Read:  Interview with Samantha Ramautar - USA Women's Cricket Team Player

 

With Mel Jones and the World Cup trophy, 2005 // Getty
With Mel Jones and the World Cup trophy, 2005 // Getty

 

In total, Julia has made 94 international appearances – 10 tests and 84 ODI’s and has scored around 500 runs. As a wicket-keeper, her record is phenomenal with over 30 stumpings and 90 catches.

After her playing days came to an end, she switched to coaching, moved to Hobart, and became the first-ever female head coach in the BBL the very next year. Over the years, she made her mark as a coach with Hobart Hurricanes playing well in the Women’s Big Bash League.

Julia Price - Brisbane Heat
Julia Price – Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL/Twitter)

 

Shortly after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer but Julia was nothing if not positive. She had faced so many challenges in her personal life that she knew that this too shall pass. She underwent treatment for the next 8 months with help from the McGrath Foundation.

Comebacks are what defines a player. And Julia came back and she came back hard. She conducted a training session for the Argentinean Women’s National Team, worked with the USA Women’s team, and in March 2019, she was appointed as the head coach of the USA team.

The USA women’s team is now going to play the 2021 Cricket World Cup qualifier and they can draw confidence from the fact that a fighter, a person who never gives up, a person who played a humongous role in the revolution of Australian cricket is in their corner.

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