Australian left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen is gearing up for the upcoming season of cricket as well as academics in her own way.
Jonassen who already has a law degree under her belt, has recently started a graduate certificate in forensic mental health.
“It sounds really complex and really cool but it’s really just learning about different mental disorders and psychology, and criminal behaviour and how mental disorders might impact that,” Jonassen explained to cricket.com.au.
“It’s interesting, I’ve enjoyed it. I just wanted to try and add something else to the degree that I already had and just felt like I was ready to go and do some more study again.
“I didn’t really want to do a full bachelor’s degree in psychology, so it’s the next best thing.
“It’s going to take me a year part-time and it’s just nice to have something different to focus on outside of cricket and training again.”
Her knee injury last year kept her out of the squad for long time and she found it difficult to break back in the team. “For a long period of time I was in the squad and I’d found ways to contribute on the field, so to find myself in a different (role), it took a little bit for me – not to get used to it – but to find other ways to contribute to the team’s success,” Jonassen explained earlier this year.
That experience is what prompted Jonassen to return to studying for the first time since finishing her law degree in 2015, despite the packed schedule ahead.
“I’ve learnt I always need to be doing something outside of cricket. I’ve always been like that, even growing up and playing junior cricket I was always pretty heavily into school as well,” Jonassen said.
“It’s just been part of my lifestyle for so long, that when I didn’t have that I just consumed myself all in the one space, it wasn’t really healthy for me.
“So it’s an easy way to get some balance back… and at the same time there’s a little bit of psychology stuff in there as well, so it’s helping me better understand different types of people and understand myself as well.
“I’ve always been interested in why people work the way they do so this is one way of figuring that out.”
She has fond memories of her last trip in 2015, when Australia won back the coveted trophy on English soil for the first time since 2001.
It includes her 99 on Test debut in Canterbury, while she memorably took the winning catch as Australia somehow, against the odds, defended 107 in a T20I in Hove to seal the series.
“It was such a long time ago and so many things have changed but I always enjoy going over and playing there,” she said.
“It will be interesting to see how things will go, especially with the men’s World Cup over there, and us being there as well as the men’s Ashes.
“Hopefully there can be a bit of turn in the wickets so I can hopefully have some more good memories over there.”