October 26, 1997

Interview with the Australian Women's Indoor Captain

Dianne van Dulken

I shared the flight home from South Africa recently with the victorious Australian Indoor Cricket team, who had been touring there. Being basically pushy, I instantly demanded an interview, and had the pleasure of talking to the Women's captain Michelle Brogan

DvD: I admit that I know very little about Indoor cricket, except for the obvious fact it is played indoors. Would you like to give me a quick rundown?

MB: It's very easy to understand. There are eight people on each team, and the games go for 1 1/2 hours, with 16 overs per side. Each player in the team has to bowl two overs, to make up these 16. This includes the Wicket Keeper. You bat with a partner for four overs. Each time you get out in these overs, you lose five runs. You score the runs by positioning your shots. For example, a hit onto the back net is worth 6 runs, plus what you actually run. However, you can catch off the net, so you have to be careful.

DvD: You've just finished your tour of South Africa. How was it?

MB: Gruelling. We played 10 games in 12 days, starting in Klersdorp, then to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley and Pretoria. All up over 65 hours of sitting on a bus, and then there was the playing time.

DvD: So how did you do?

MB: We won all of our games. The men's team played 10 games, and also won them all.

DvD:(Repressing an impressed whistle, since it would ruin my image as a cool journo type). There are a couple of faces I recognise. Could you give me a run down of where the team comes from.

MB: We have a ten member squad. Of those, 7 come from NSW, 1 from Victoria, 1 from QLD, and 1 from SA. The SA girl is only 17, and got herself a nice fansquad along the way. Guys were asking her to marry them.
The men's team has 11 members, of which 5 are from QLD, 1 from WA, 3 from NSW, 1 Vic, and 1 from the ACT.

DvD: Given the ten member squad, how does the batting work?

MB: It is usual to have a set batting partner. A large group of us have been playing for NSW for some years (Michelle has been a member of the NSW squad for six years now), and are used to playing together, and know each others strengths. However, we have been experimenting a lot during this tour, trying out different combinations.

DvD: How did the South Africans feel about your team?

MB: They were scared of us! They admitted they tried to tire us out before one game. They took us down a goldmine the second day we were there. It was a 3 km walk each way, through steep tunnels. Then, that evening we played them. For the first three days we basically had no sleep, and were playing.

DvD: How are you now positioned in World ranking's?

MB: The men won the first ever World Cup last year, so they are the world champions

DvD: Wow! How about the Women?

MB: There hasn't been a women's world cup previously. The first one is going to be held next October, together with the men's.

DvD: And where is that?

MB: Its being held in Australia. They are hoping to have the finals in the Melbourne Tennis Centre, the only problem being the million dollars needed to hire it.

DvD: Speaking of which, what is sponsorship like for Indoor Cricket? Was this trip very expensive?

MB: The Australian Sports Commission helped fund this trip, so it only cost us about $1,000 each. The South Africans paid for our accommodation and our bus.

DvD: And what were the crowds like?

MB: They were great! Every centre we played in was filled. A huge difference from home. And they were very friendly. They wanted to see a good game, not just the home side to win. Very encouraging.

DvD: Now, I know that you also play 1st grade cricket for Gordon Cricket Club. Does playing indoor cricket improve your outdoor cricketing skills?

MB: Some people think that playing indoor ruins your normal cricketing skills, but I don't agree. It definitely sharpens your fielding, because you have such a limited time to react. A similar thing for your bowling, since every wide or no ball is worth two runs to the other side. The batting is slightly different. You have to be a little more creative about your shot selection in indoors, which means you have to develop more control.

DvD:(thinking) Gosh! You need to bat, bowl and field well. Probably not for me then!