It’s hard to believe sometimes; I still wake up everyday and go, “Oh, I don’t really have a real job, I call it my fake job.”

Even my neighbour has the occasional laugh over the fence, about my newish status as a full-time cricket player.

She laughs at me when I tell her kids I’m going to work, ’cause she’s like, “As if that’s work, you’re just going to do gym.”

So it’s pretty surreal but it just goes to show how far Cricket Australia has come with making sure there’s a lot more equality around opportunities for females and males and the money they’ve invested into making sure that the Australian Women’s Team is the best in the world.

Beth Mooney exclusive insight 4

Because we’re full time professionals now, we tend to have a few more tours during the year and I think the biggest thing is we can just invest more time into our game and our skills.

That’s made a huge difference in how far we’ve come as a sport in the last twelve months, the fact that we can all spend all our time trying to be better and be the best athlete we can and obviously work on other things outside of cricket as well so I think that’s the biggest thing that’s come out of it.

Women’s cricket in general is in a really good space at the moment.

Beth Mooney exclusive insight 4

We’ve got a lot of support from the public and from Cricket Australia and the ACA and making sure that we’ve got more opportunities and facilities and resources to perform on the world stage and make sure we compete properly at that really high level.

There’s a lot more marketing around making sure the public’s aware of when our games are and where they are. They’re pretty good at selling them now which makes a big difference.

The support we had in The Ashes Series last year was probably a big turning point for the Australian Women’s team but also women’s cricket around Australia.

We sold out a couple of games and had pretty big crowds so that was pretty exciting to be a part of.

Beth Mooney exclusive insight 4

It goes without saying, you always want it to be as competitive as it can be probably can be.

Traditionally, Australia has always dominated in the women’s game, but the gap in World Cricket’s come a bit closer in the last couple of years and makes every game way more competitive.

Even from our own backyard though, I can see women’s cricket taking off!

I grew up in Hervey Bay and Dad always sends me paper clippings of whatever they’ve put in the local newspaper, and my parents get asked all the time how I’m going and if I’m enjoying it.

There’s a really nice community feel about where I come from and I hope that means more girls will play cricket up there and stay in the game a bit longer as well.

I’m just so glad I stuck with it, because becoming a Southern Star did take some time.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Beth Mooney poses during the Cricket Australia Women's National Squad Player Camp on September 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 13: Beth Mooney poses during the Cricket Australia Women’s National Squad Player Camp on September 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

I had to bide my time in the lower levels, building up form and obviously in the last two years I’ve been able to be rewarded with national selections.

At domestic level, I really had to state my case as a batter; I knew I always wanted to play for Australia, it was just a matter of in what capacity.

I had to work out pretty quickly I wasn’t going to cut it as the wicket keeper.

So I had to make sure I was doing everything I could as a batter to get noticed by the selectors so that they’d throw my name in the hat.

There’s still ups and downs when you’re in the squad and I’ve been dropped plenty of times but I guess that gives me the drive to be better next time I go out there and play and make sure I’m contributing to the success of whatever team I play for.

It’s been really exciting journey for me, at the moment I’m just taking every series and every game as it comes and hopefully continue to get more opportunities down the track.

You look back on hard times and when it’s been a bit of a struggle to score runs, and you always come out the other side, so being able to look back on that and move forward from that makes a big difference too.

Beth Mooney exclusive insight 4

Being picked into the team was different this time around, as many fans in the game would know!

Usually we’re at home, in our respective states, and you get the phone call and you’re with your family and friends.

But it was actually quite nice to be around the group when we all got told, which was the first time we had all been together in the same place!

I was in a restaurant when young Georgia Wareham got called and told she was in the squad and I just had this moment of pure excitement for a young girl that just got her first phone call to play for Australia.

It made me remember how it felt for me when I got told I was going to as well, so I think the feeling among the group is one of excitement and I guess nerves as well.

The start of a new season, we want to start well.

We’ve got a T20 World Cup in a couple of months and we really want to stamp our authority on that tournament so I guess it kind of builds from here after claiming the New Zealand series.

It was as a good opportunity to get out there and play the brand of cricket we want to play and any games we play before the World Cup.

We want to nail the way we want to play.

It’s a chance for us to go out there, on the biggest stage in the format, and showcase our skills and make sure we are doing everything we can moving forward to make an impact at the World Cup in whatever capacity.