On July 10, Wimbledon finals were played and a former cricketer Ash Barty won the tournament in the women’s singles category, by doing so she became the first Australian woman to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won hers in 1980.
The third Australian woman to win the coveted title at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, after Goolagong Cawley and Margaret Court in the Open era.
Barty’s journey in Cricket started after the 2014 US open when she announced that she was taking a break from professional tennis. Later Barty, who was just 18 at the time, said that she took a break because “it was too much too quickly for me as I’ve been traveling from quite a young age… I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences.”
Soon after that, she was really intrigued by cricket, this happened after her meeting with the Australian women’s cricket team in early 2015. She was captivated by the opportunity to play a team sport as a change from the individual sport of tennis. She later had a chat with her home club, Queensland Cricket, about how she could get involved in cricket. She trained hard for a year and bagged a WBBL contract.
Barty went on and played for the Brisbane Heat team in Women’s Big Bash League for the 2015-16 season and on her debut made a score of 39 runs in 27 balls, this was her highest score in the season where she played a total of 10 games for the Heat. She soon realized her calling was not cricket and returned to the world of professional tennis by 2017.
“It truly was an amazing period of my life,” Barty had said of her cricket career in a 2019 interview. “I met an amazing group of people who couldn’t care less whether I could hit a tennis ball or not.”
“They accepted me, and they got to know Ash Barty. They got to know me. I still have those relationships to this very day. I got an amazing number of messages over the last couple of days from those cricket girls who were some of my best friends.”
“The way they are accepting of someone new coming into their locker room, into their dressing room, and into their sport was amazing. They are truly an incredible group of girls that I know I’ll have a relationship with for the rest of my life and a friendship with for the rest of my life,” she added.
Ashleigh Barty currently has two Grand Slam titles to her name and hopefully many more to come in the future.
Source: Hindustan Times