Sport Cricket Ellyse Perry: The star of Australia’s Ashes campaign

Ellyse Perry: The star of Australia’s Ashes campaign

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Ellyse Perry grapples with the tag of superstar.

She’d rather go about her business without all the hoopla.

The problem is she’s hard to ignore – especially when she’s in career-best, Ashes-saving form.

“I’d rather share the spotlight,” Perry says deflecting the conversation.

Perry is more comfortable talking about the growth and development of women’s cricket over the past five years – from relative obscurity to rightfully owning a place on the Australian sporting landscape.

“It’s really exciting. The sense of awareness of this series is wonderful. If it means more girls and women get involved that’s a good thing,” she says.

There’s nothing understated about the way Perry plays the game.

The dynamic all-rounder is the reason why Australia is still in this contest.

At 6-199 chasing 269, Perry (a career-high 90 from 95) and Erin Osborne (40 from 25) put on 70 to secure the Southern Stars’ second one-day victory of the series.

The Stars chased down the biggest total of the series to win with three balls to spare.

All attention turns to the shortest format of the game.

The equation is a simple one.

The Stars must win all three Twenty20 matches in the multi-format series to regain the women’s Ashes trophy lost last year in the UK.

It’s a challenge the Stars are relishing.

“Twenty20 is a condensed version of any other game – everything you do you do a bit quicker. You have less time to settle as a batter and less time to find the right spot as a bowler. You need to me more aggressive and stay on top of things”.

Staying on top of things is something Perry – who plays two sports at international level – is supremely good at.

This gifted and gracious athlete was picked to play cricket for Australia at the age of 16.

Two weeks later, she played an Olympic qualifier for the Matildas. It’s impressive stuff.

Now 23, she successfully juggles cricket and soccer and everything else that goes with the two sports – almost unthinkable, and unheard of in this day and age.

It’s certainly an unusual set up and, for now, a harmonious one for all parties.

“I’m fortunate to have the support from both. Both are dear to my heart and I love being involved in both. The support and understanding is truly wonderful,” she says.

While it’s working Perry doesn’t think about giving up one sport.

It’s not something she wants to consider just yet.

If and when she does have to make a choice it will mean one of the sports has turned truly professional.

That’s an enticing prospect.

“It’d be fantastic to arrive at that point. I hope that does happen while I’m still playing. I’ll just keep making the most of my opportunities.”

The remaining three Ashes matches in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney are curtain raisers to the men’s T/20 competition.

With what’s at stake comparatively perhaps it should be the other way round?

Let’s be honest the men have been playing for what seems like several years – and the important stuff is long gone.

The final matches will no doubt be entertaining but will carry all the tension of a bowl of jelly.

For the women everything is on the line.

“One day it will flip.”

And I hope I’ll be around to see it.