Harmanpreet Kaur, Sophie Devine, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Priest, Dane outpost Niekerk, Suzie Bates, Smriti Mandhana, Lizelle Lee, Amy Satterthwaite, Marizanne Kapp. These are a 10 abroad stars who play in both a Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia and a Kia Super League (KSL) in England. Each of them has storied careers for their inhabitant teams; they are a cream of general cricket.
Except, one of them doesn’t play general cricket anymore.
Last year Rachel Priest spent Jan crisscrossing Australia personification for Sydney Thunder in a WBBL. In Feb she was in New Zealand, personification for Wellington Blaze. From May to Aug she was in England, personification limited-overs games for Wales and afterwards T20s for Western Storm in a KSL. In October, she was behind with Blaze again. And in December, she started a new deteriorate with Thunder.
“I don’t get a lot of downtime,” she says, laughing, as we discuss over a phone in a center of her 2018-19 WBBL campaign. Priest had copiousness of cricket on her image final year notwithstanding nothing of that being for New Zealand women. She was forsaken from a ODI and T20I squads after a 2017 World Cup, and asked to work on her aptness and ODI average. She has a career normal of 28.35; in nine matches for New Zealand in 2017 she averaged 25.22; 6 of those were World Cup games, where she averaged 20.83.
In Aug final year, she mislaid her executive contract. With 86 ODIs and 68 T20Is to her name, she was a many high-profile ostracism from a list. And so she has now substituted a black New Zealand uniform for a accumulation of joining cricket colours.
Like her former New Zealand team-mate Sara McGlashan, who now plays in a KSL as a internal player, Priest is in a singular position in women’s cricket, as an in-demand abroad actor who doesn’t find a place in her inhabitant team.
“It feels good in a way, yet it also feels bad in a way,” she says. “I adore T20 cricket, so it feels good that these teams are selecting me. But apparently it is hard. we wish to be personification for New Zealand.”
“I know I’m not going to be abounding when we finish playing, and I’ll have to go true into a job. But we adore personification cricket and I’m so propitious to transport a world”
Priest has dual hundreds and 10 fifties opposite formats in a decade-long career with New Zealand, and was one half of a hard-hitting opening combination, with Suzie Bates, for most of her career. “I don’t wish to take it out of their hands, we don’t wish to retire,” she says. “I still consider we have something to offer.”
It competence be tantalizing to tag Priest as a initial freelance women’s cricketer, yet there are usually dual veteran tournaments for women to play in outward of general cricket, and usually a beginnings of a vital to be finished from them. Which means that even yet 33-year-old Priest earns a kind of income she never dreamed probable from domestic cricket, her financial position is still shaky.
“A inhabitant agreement would be monthly, so to have income entrance in gives some security,” she says. Priest has no pursuit outward of cricket, and doesn’t possess a home. While in Australia and not on Thunder duty, she stays with her relatives in Brisbane. While personification domestic one-day cricket for Blaze in Wellington, she stays with friends. Wales hosted her while she played for them, yet offering no veteran fees, yet she did do some coaching on a side there. Priest is radically contingent on a dual vital T20 domestic leagues to means her derelict lifestyle.
“You do get paid flattering good now for these tournaments, yet it’s one pile sum during a end. It is tough for a times in between that, and has to be managed flattering closely and carefully.”
Priest has no agent. She negotiates her possess contracts and spends her possess income for coaching, nourishment and gym memberships when she is not compared with a team. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I know I’m not going to be abounding when we finish playing, and I’ll have to go true into a job. But we adore personification cricket and I’m so propitious to transport a world.”
Her conditions also means that she can't effectively press her box for a inhabitant remember in New Zealand’s domestic cricket. To acquire money, she has to select a WBBL over a parallel regulating Super Smash in New Zealand, holding her serve from a eyes of a selectors. While Priest earns upwards of US$15,000 a deteriorate in a WBBL, Super Smash players accept usually allowances for games and no compare fees.
It is an emanate that Peter McGlashan, a former Black Caps screw and hermit of Sara, lifted while commentating on a Super Smash final final week, and something Priest and Sara have oral about since. The compensate inconsistency between leagues is usually as large a regard as that between group and women, one that a New Zealand Cricket Players Association has pronounced will be discussed with a NZC during a finish of a season.
@ @SuperSmashNZ games 2day @Mitch_Savage got paid $850 4his game,I got $350 4commentating 2 games 4 @radiosportnz, @sophdevine77 got paid her $45 non-traveling day dish stipend a @Wgtn_Blaze got got 4 winning a Comp,No .In 2 wks winners with of same comp get $80k
— Peter McGlashan (@PeterMcGlashan) January 20, 2019
Born in New Plymouth, Priest benefitted from carrying a cricket manager vital subsequent doorway to her, and grew adult as a usually lady in several boys’ teams. After creation her entrance for Central Districts, she changed to Wellington for a pursuit and has given played in a HBJ Shield for Wellington Blaze. She got her mangle for New Zealand in 2007, when wicketkeeper Rebecca Rolls retired; a call came during a tea mangle during her summer pursuit operative in a fruit orchard.
A decade on, Priest has finished assent with her stream situation, yet when she was forsaken dual years ago, she came tighten to stepping divided from a game.
“Thinking behind now, we would have suspicion I’m finished with cricket. Being forsaken from a group that we gave a final 10 years of my life to was a formidable time for me,” she said. “I was unequivocally propitious that we had that KSL deteriorate to go true into.”
In a opposite sourroundings and with a indicate to prove, she thrived, top-scoring in a 2017 KSL with 261 runs in 7 games, and making 72 off 36 balls in a final to assistance Storm to a title. She credits a integrate of Storm coaches for her turnaround: conduct manager Trevor Griffin and mental conditioning manager Jon Pitts.
“Between a both of us, we were means to support Rachel by what was a tough time for her,” says Griffin, who also worked on certain technical aspects in Priest’s game. “We found her conduct was descending over sometimes. Then we combined a bit to her diversion in terms of utilising a double forwards and behind and being means to entrance opposite areas interjection to that.”
The opening wasn’t adequate to assistance her keep her place in New Zealand’s T20I patrol in 2017-18, yet it warranted her a gloves for Sydney Thunder after she was expelled by Melbourne Renegades. She has left on to have her dual personal best seasons with Thunder, this deteriorate ticking past a 300-run total for a initial time.
A tweak in her wicketkeeping stance, where she does not hunker as low as she did before, has softened her agility, and Griffin believes her glove work is a best it has ever been.
“Rachel is still substantially one of a best wicketkeeper-batters in a world, along with Sarah Taylor and Alyssa Healy,” reckons Griffin, who was Thunder’s partner manager this season. When they aren’t operative side by side, he monitors Priest’s diversion regulating Whatsapp video clips instead.
When New Zealand unsuccessful to strech a World T20 semi-finals final November, questions floated around on amicable media as to since Priest was out in a cold while a inhabitant group was struggling to spike down an opening combination. While her gripping and batting in a leagues have matched general standards, maybe what is holding her behind is her fitness.
“I would contend that her aptness levels are identical to where we have seen them before; they positively have not deteriorated,” Griffin says.
Last week, Priest was left out of New Zealand’s T20I patrol opposite India. The proclamation came a day after she top-scored in a WBBL semi-final. She finished with 338 runs in a deteriorate – third in a list of New Zealand players and with 13 runs some-more than New Zealand captain Amy Satterthwaite.
Ironically, her general impugn competence make her a some-more appealing choice for a T20 leagues. Towards a finish of their seasons, both a KSL and a WBBL had to let go of some abroad recruits since of their general commitments. Priest, meanwhile, remained accessible for a finals.
Her story also raises questions about a transitioning routine for cricketers who skip out on general contracts. Outside of Australia and England, where players’ associations work with womanlike players to several degrees, cricketers face a unavoidable financial and mental insecurities mostly alone.
“The fact that we might not have any contracts subsequent year does play on my mind,” Priest says. “The mental side is not something we speak about enough. Cricket is a mentally tough diversion as it is. One day we can measure a hundred, a subsequent day you’re out for a duck. You’re always chasing that high, even yet 90% of a time we don’t find it.”
For now she lives in a present, not looking too distant ahead. When recruiting deteriorate for a KSL begins, she will wish her phone beeps and that this involved existence she loves so most endures for a while longer.