BENDIGO’S Tayla Vlaeminck will live out a childhood dream next month after being named as part of Australia’s Ashes title defence squad to tour England.
Her selection in the strong 14-women side caps off a stellar 12 months for the 20-year-old, which included her international debut in South Africa as well as playing a key role in Australia’s ICC T20 World Cup winning team in the West Indies last November.
Speaking to the Bendigo Weekly in the midst of a heavy Ashes training schedule, Vlaeminck said her selection in the team was something she’d been working hard to achieve.
“It was in the back of my mind every session, to get on the plane with the girls to hopefully play in the Ashes series,” she said.
“The Ashes are something you grew up watching as a kid, and you watch the boys run in and bowl in test matches, and to be able to do something like that would be pretty cool.
“The girls retained the Ashes last time, so hopefully we can bring it back on the plane with us.”
The former Strathdale-Maristian is becoming known internationally for her lightning quick bowling speed, which she hopes to capitalise on if rewarded with game time in England.
“My role will be as the wicket taker I think, I will just try my best and run in and compete. I’m a pretty competitive person, so my role… is to just try and bowl as quick as I can really,” she said.
Vlaeminck was also this week named as the Hobart Hurricanes’ newest recruit for summer’s Women’s Big Bash League, heading south from the Melbourne Renegades where she’s been for the past three seasons and made her competition debut last December.
She’ll make Hobart home for the length of the competition, and said it was the club’s offering in terms of games, program and new players which encouraged her to make the move.
“Hopefully to be a part of that would be something really cool, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up,” she said.
Vlaeminck heads to Brisbane next week for final training with the Ashes side, before flying out for the first match of the series in Leicester on July 2.
– Sam Kane