Thursday 26 February 2009 

Cricket Training, House Removals and Laminating

 

After a busy first week in Perth, Western Australia, Caroline Atkins tell us in more detail about her preparations, including travelling across Australia, house moving, and a new job for the Women's World Cup...

 Caroline Atkins

February 24h, 2009

Here I am down under two weeks before the squad arrive to get some bonus preparation in Perth. Going to my first Rocky club training session having already played my first game for them at the weekend seemed a little backwards, but by the end of the week I was definitely going forwards. The difference that a week makes is amazing.

Here’s my week in numbers… three running sessions in the sun, two weights workouts, two hits against the machine and three grass nets all in time for my second club match on Sunday. This time I felt at home at the crease, hit the ball well and got 48 not out as we chased down 112 in another victory. So all in all, Perth had served its purpose and it was time to fly to Sydney to join the rest of the crew who were also here early.

It takes a day to travel across Australia, plus you lose two hours so I was lucky to make it in time to catch up with an old friend on my first night. We went to the open-air cinema where the screen comes out of the water with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge for a background. I could have taken in the spectacular scenery all night, but was pleasantly distracted by the big screen showing The Secret Life Of Bees, a really good film that topped off a great evening.

The scene in Sydney
The spectacular scene in Sydney - © Caroline Atkins

Back to cricket, there were now nine of our squad in Sydney so fielding drills were stepped up and group nets were good. We also won a friendly Twenty20 game against a scratch XI from the Sydney league. It was great being able to put a team together and not just for the cricket but for moving furniture too! It was time for Isa, Beth, Lyds and Holly to move out of their Sydney apartment so half of us assembled on the first floor balcony while the other half waited anxiously below for the double beds to be lowered. I’m happy to say there were no injuries and all the furniture fetched a good price, well done girls.

I am proud of our removals success story, but my Sydney career really took off when I became the ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 Chief Laminator. It’s true what they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and since my mate now works for Cricket Australia, I found myself helping in the event office and hence gave myself a title. It was good fun and gave me an insight into what’s involved in running a global sports event. There’s so much to do that volunteers are crucial, but I am hoping my biggest impact yet will be on the pitch.

The rest of our squad arrived on Saturday and it was so good to see them. They were pretty tired and pale-faced, but still their arrival meant our World Cup run was really beginning. We’ve eased them in to training so they could give jet lag the boot and find their feet on grass ahead of our warm-up games. Our first practice match is against New South Wales on Friday and I can’t wait to be back on the pitch playing in an England shirt again.

Caroline Atkins

Caroline made her England debut in the Ashes series in June 2001 and has to date played in seven Tests,  39 One Day Internationals and seven Twenty20 Internationals. Her ODI top score of 145 came when she shared a record opening stand of 268 with Sarah Taylor at Lord's.