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Mott lauds Australia's 'perfect storm' before planning for next challenges

Australia head coach also speaks of the Australia A programme and club cricket that keep producing top players

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Captain Meg Lanning, coach Matthew Mott and vice-captain Rachael Haynes pose with the World Cup trophy  •  ICC/Getty Images

Captain Meg Lanning, coach Matthew Mott and vice-captain Rachael Haynes pose with the World Cup trophy  •  ICC/Getty Images

Golf and family time are top of Matthew Mott's agenda once he returns home, but it won't be long before the planning starts for the next challenges in front of Australia's latest invincibles after their five-year mission to rule the game was crowned with the ODI World Cup title.
The summit was reached with what Mott termed the "perfect storm" of a batting performance headlined by Alyssa Healy's record-breaking 170 and a bowling display which held its nerve in the face of another of the great World Cup innings from Nat Sciver.
Mott admitted "there were some skeletons from 2017" - in reference to the Harmanpreet Kaur innings that ended their previous ODI World Cup campaign and set in motion a chain of events that would change the face of the women's game - but as well as Sciver was playing in her unbeaten 148 it always felt like she would either run out of time or partners.
The final was Australia's 40th win since the 2017 World Cup exit during which they have lost just two ODIs in a period of dominance unmatched in the sport. It has also united the ODI and T20 World Cups under Meg Lanning's captaincy but while Mott is aware there will be a period of transition in the team at some stage in the next few years, there is no sense from him that this is an end point.
"That's part of sustained success, at the right time turning players over that have that have been great servants but I don't see that anytime soon," he said. "After a couple of weeks of reflection we'll reset like we always do and see what we are going to plot over the next one to two years."
That will include the chance of a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in August and then the defence of their T20 World Cup title in South Africa next ahead of another Ashes in England. But it's what goes on below the success of the national team that will be as important in sustaining this golden era. Mott spoke of enhancing the Australia A programme over the next few years while there is also the first Under-19 World Cup next January which will be in the T20 format.
"We are at the end of the line, but there's a lot of work that goes on in club cricket all the way through to produce these players," he said. "They keep coming in droves, the only bad part about it is there's some horrific selection decisions. We have to leave out really good players but it's a good problem to have and a real sign of strength in the entire system. We played 14 out of the 15 [player squad] in this tournament. Think that was a big part of our success, when players were out of our team there was no void."
The batting display which racked up 356 was a coming together of so many of the building blocks that had been put in place over the last five years from Healy's success as an opener, to the flexibility which saw the seamless promotion of Beth Mooney to No. 3 in a tactical change to take on Sophie Ecclestone and the depth of the batting that meant Ellyse Perry wasn't needed until No. 7.
"The flexibility in our batting group, the conversations on the sidelines about who was the right player to go in at certain times…everything seemed to work really well and it was a great night," Mott said. "Alyssa Healy's innings was special. I'm sure it was special on TV, but to be there at the ground to witness that was something I certainly won't forget anytime soon.
"She misses out every now and then because of the nature of the way she plays, but in a great team like this you can absorb those misses because you know she relishes the big stage, she has done it so many times. When she is on like that you can't bowl to her. I didn't think England bowled that badly yesterday."
For Mott, Lanning, Healy and others involved five years ago those ghosts have been emphatically laid to rest.
"I just went past [Meg] in the lift and she had a big smile on her face," Mott said. "Certainly after 2017 we had a very different press conference…I'll never forget those scenes in Derby. From there that forged a really strong friendship with us. We'd hit rock bottom and together with a lot of other leaders around the group we tried to map out a plan to make sure that didn't happen again.
"To have to wait so long was very frustrating at times but certainly walking around seeing the group just take immense joy out of what's been a long road, but a very enjoyable one and [is] one we can sit back and reflect on very proudly."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo