Irish international leg-spinner Celeste Raack had to put her career as a physiotherapist on hold as moved from Australia to Ireland to play International cricket.
25-year old Raack was born in Sydney and she played as a rookie with the NSW Breakers before moving to Hobart aged 19 to join the Tasmanian Tigers. Making full use of her Irish passport, Raack moved to Dublin to play in Super 3’s in 2018.
She soon became an internal part of the Irish cricket and made her debut in World T20 against Pakistan.
“I played for the Typhoons in the Super 3’s competition and really enjoyed the playing environment and the opportunity it provides for players to play in a competitive and challenging series. Playing with and against Irish international players in this series really improved my cricket and bowling on Irish wickets was a different challenge to those I’ve played on in Australia.”
About her Irish heritage, Raack grew up with her late grandmother Brigid living in the family home and her Irish heritage has always been close to her heart. She told cricket.com.au: “We always had a very strong Irish accent in the house. She’d would have been very happy to hear I was planning on living in Dublin for the future and playing for Ireland.”
In May 2019, Raack was named as one of the inaugural six recipients of professional contracts for women cricketers in Ireland. She said at the time:
“I’ve relocated from Australia to play in Ireland and have put my career as a physiotherapist on hold to play cricket. Receiving a contract enables me to dedicate more of my time to becoming the best player I can be.”
“It is a very exciting time for women’s cricket in Ireland. We have had big change in personnel this season following the retirement of four of our most successful players of all time. Having contracted players and the access to increased training will provide us with the opportunity to put our best foot forward for the upcoming ICC tournaments. It also allows a younger generation of female cricketers to see that there is an opportunity to earn money as a cricketer in the future.”
Ireland will take on West Indies in a three-match T20I series in Dublin. Raack said:
“It’s going to be a huge summer with a lot of fixtures in the lead up to the World Cup Qualifier in August. I’m really looking forward to starting off against the West Indies and it’ll really help us see what we’re doing well and what we need to work on over the coming months.”
“The squad is looking really strong and we’ve been training hard over the last few months. We had a pre-season camp in La Manga, which was mix of the Academy and the Performance Squad. Our Strength & Conditioning programmes are moving along well and the first two weeks of training for the contracted players has been great.”
“While Ireland hasn’t played much against the West Indies in recent years, I played a few seasons with Hayley Matthews in Australia in the WBBL so I’m looking forward to playing against her.”