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17 November 2008

Cricket


Karen Rolton: My name's Karen Rolton. I've been playing cricket - representing the South Australian women's cricket team - since '94/95, I play for the South Australian Scorpions, also been in the Australian team since '94/95 as well, was vice captain in '97 for the World Cup when we went to India and took over as captain in 2006.

Women's cricket is really developing. I guess in Australia we've got a lot more girls playing cricket and there's a lot more programs available for young girls whether it's through high schools or primary schools and I think we're showing the benefits of that because Australia's the number one ranked team at the moment, so, which is fantastic, and across the world New Zealand are improving so there's all, a lot of different teams playing and really developing.

When I first started I actually started playing with the boys - there was no girls' cricket team so that was quite fun, I was lucky enough that I grew up with quite a few of the boys so they knew me quite well. I've just been lucky enough to tour to a few different places, played in 3 World Cups so far, one in New Zealand, one in South Africa and one in India. The India one's probably one of my highlights. It was in '97 and in Eden Gardens in Calcutta and there was somewhere between 60 to 80 thousand people watching the game so that was something I'll never forget and we actually won that game. Another I guess highlight for me was the 2005 World Cup in which we played in South Africa and we beat India in the final and I made 107 not out, so I guess that's something that will stick in my mind forever.

Ben Arthur: My name's Ben Arthur and I'm the head coach of the South Australian Scorpions. We're the women's cricket team in South Australia. Karen's obviously been around the state scene and also the national scene for an awful long time now. She is the number one player. Her fitness is probably as good as it's been now and she's worked very hard on it. Obviously a World Cup century against India in the final to assist Australia winning that World Cup would be the highlight for her, but also captaining the country on so many occasions in such an elite group of players as well is quite tremendous.

Alicia Dean: (SA wicketkeeper) Karen Rolton - she's a champion. I guess now that she's the Australian captain it's even more special to play with her. She's been captaining the side since God knows how long but yeah she's been so good for so long I'm just in awe of what she can do. These girls play for Australia and they don't get payed to play. They're having to usually fund their own training and usually only the last couple of years we've been able to travel without paying for anything. Hopefully in a few years time the girls can start getting some crowds and start getting some match payments and contracts - something along those lines, but it is improving and we can only hope for it to get better.

Karen Rolton: The difference I guess between the Australian men's team and the Australian women's team is that we all work full time. We don't get to train 2 or 3 times a day. We have to ... I work from 8 till 4 and then come to training at 5 o'clock at night and try to fit in I guess batting, bowling, fielding, going to the gym and trying to do recovery as well. So it does get quite hard but I know all of us wouldn't change it for anything.

I think it's good when things go well being captain. There's a lot of pressure on you and you have to make the final moves and I guess if things don't work out the buck stops with you, so, there's a fair bit of pressure on there but when things are going well it's pretty good and the Australian team, it's a really good team.

This January/February coming up we've got England coming out, we're playing some games in Sydney on the SCG and in Melbourne at the MCG. We've also got a test match in Bowral, which Don Bradman's home ground, so everyone's really looking forward to that. Then a couple of weeks into March we're playing against New Zealand which are our arch rivals. And then that's the build up to the World Cup which we've got up until February of 2009 in Sydney. So I guess like, I'm still going to be playing until then, obviously, and be in the best form that I can because I'd love to captain Australia on home soil and win the World Cup. That's just something that I guess everyone dreams about.