Two Aussie women’s hockey players to feature in WBBL 2016-17

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Kate Hollywood
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Midfielder Kate Hollywood of Australia. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian women’s hockey players, Kate Hollywood and Mathilda Carmichael have signed up for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) 2016-17. Kate has decided to switch from her original sport to cricket after a glorious career in hockey where she was a part of the Olympics team in 2008, won two Commonwealth Games gold medals with the team. Carmichael, on the other hand, is and willing to double up a career in both the sports. She decided to participate in the WBBL after being ignored from the Australian Women’s hockey team for the upcoming Rio Olympics.

The 22-year old as a young cricketer had been a part of New South Wales’ junior squad but gave it up for hockey 4 years ago. Once Carmichael learnt that she was not a part of the Australian squad for the Rio games she played six Female A Grade 50-over matches last season for the Melville Cricket Club and scored 337 runs. Her performance also impressed the Western Fury club and they signed her for the Women’s Nationa Cricket League 2016-17.

Hollywood and Mathilda switching from hockey to cricket to participate in the WBBL is not the first time something like that has been witnessed. Earlier in the inaugural season, Australia’s tennis star Ash Barty signed up for Brisbane Heat.

Carmichael still strives to make a comeback to hockey if she gets to represent the national team but at the same time also hopes to do well in her WBBL stint.

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“If I get opportunities to play higher levels of hockey again for Australia, I’m definitely still striving for that,” she said. “Hopefully along the way I balance both of them, but obviously I’m just focusing on one thing at a time. With the success of the Big Bash last season for the women, I think WBBL02 will be another success.”

While the former has years on her side to explore a new career Kate is 30 and has seen most of it in her hockey career. She is now willing to test herself on the cricket field. “I will always sign up for anything and have a crack at it. That’s the best thing about being an athlete, being able to test yourself and try different things,”  she said.

“Cricket is an exciting sport, I think it is very similar to hockey which is a sport I obviously love, especially the hand-eye coordination,” she said. “Since playing hockey, and being around that team environment, it is something that I’ve loved about the sport. I think cricket is very similar – it’s a nice team feel, you always celebrate together and the team cohesion is important.”

Also read – Harmanpreet Kaur joins BBL team Sydney Thunder

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