Australia’s young players Georgia Wareham and Tayla Vlaeminck are travelling to England for their first ever Ashes tour. The pair are not just good friends but state teammates, who are also housemates.
Both of them also made their first their first tour with the Australian Women’s Cricket Team last September. They were nervous and eager to make sure that they don’t put any wrong foot forward.
“I don’t think I’ve ever texted (Tayla) as much as I did during our first tour,” leg-spinner Wareham, 19, told cricket.com.au.
“Because we were both new we didn’t really want to be that one that late or anything like that.
“It really helped having Tay in the team as well.
“It was daunting coming into a group that I didn’t really know, but they were really, really good in the way they welcomed us into the side.”
Vlaeminck, 20, recalls those early days of that T20I series against New Zealand.
“I didn’t want to put a foot wrong and we didn’t want to be late or early, so we just messaged each other a thousand times before we had to go anywhere and made sure we met up at the elevator, so we’d go down together,” she said.
“If we were early we’d go for a quick walk and come back, and if we were late we’d run.”
Fast forward into 2019, both the players have calmed those nerves and have slotted in the team nicely.
Paying back the faith shown in her by national selectors when they gave her the nod ahead of fellow leggie Amanda-Jade Wellington, her direct-hit run-out to remove the dangerous Amy Jones made highlights reels around the cricket world, while her two wickets in two balls helped ensure Australia needed just 106 runs to seal their fourth T20 World Cup title.
In all, Wareham played 17 of a possible 18 matches for Australia through the summer before earning her first national contract last month, a strong endorsement of how she fits into the team’s plans heading into their busiest ever year.
“It’s just pretty crazy to think about it all, this time last year I was in South Africa with the Australian under-19 and now 12 months on from that, it’s pretty crazy, I still can’t describe any of it,” she said.
It’s the potential for a Test debut that has Wareham particularly excited, given she’s never been part of any multi-day match before.
“It would be unreal,” she said. “Apart from the World Cup the Ashes are one of the biggest tournaments we play and with the rivalry against England, it will be a really good match up.
“It’s kind of daunting to think about (playing a Test) but it would be really special if I got to put on a Baggy Green … so fingers crossed.”
And, while she’s settled in the squad now, she will be pleased to have Vlaeminck travelling alongside her, after the quick overcame a knee injury to be named in the Ashes group.