Naomi Stalenberg selected for Cricket Australia XI to take on England

Naomi Stalenberg plays with the Sydney Thunder. Picture: Conor Hickey
Naomi Stalenberg plays with the Sydney Thunder. Picture: Conor Hickey

THE Hawkesbury’s Naomi Stalenberg will bide her time until her next call up to the Australian cricket team, and when she gets it, she plans on staying there long-term.

On October 16 and 18, Stalenberg will line-up against the English team, who are here to play the Ashes series, which starts on October 22.

However, Stalenberg has been selected to play two tour matches as part of a Cricket Australia XI, not the Australian team.

Stalenberg admitted disappointment over missing selection in the Ashes squad for this tour, but will use the CA XI selection as a chance to show selectors what she is capable of.

“I would have loved to play in the Ashes but all the Australian batters are all in exceptional form,” she said.

"Being picked in the CA XI is special and it will be important. It will be a really exciting match up with us having a generally young team.”

Stalenberg has steadily climbed through the cricketing ranks over the past two years.

She has cemented a spot in the NSW Women’s National Cricket League team, and also the Sydney Thunder WBBL team.

She even played a T20 match for Australia, but unfortunately she never had a chance to bat, with the Australian women chasing down the total before Stalenberg could get to the middle.

“It is something that everyone dreams of and to be on the field at Adelaide Oval with everyone was amazing,” she said of her brief stint playing for Australia.

“It was hard that it was only one game, I would have loved to get more a chance to show what I could do. Even so, it was definitely a career highlight so far.”

The sole game was enough to convince Stalenberg that it was a level she had to reach again.

“It was kind of dangling the carrot in front of me,” she said.

“It was a bit of a taste and something that makes you want to work for it and strive for it.

“The next time I get there I think I'll be staying there. I won't be giving up until it happens.”

In state level cricket, Stalenberg and the NSW Breakers got their season off to a fine start recently, winning their opening two matches against Victoria and Queensland at the start of the month.

She said she was happy with how her first two outings went, especially her partnership with Rachel Haynes, who reached a century while playing against Queensland. Stalenberg made 41 from 55 balls.

The Breakers created history last season by becoming the first women’s team in Australia to be completely professional, with all their player being paid a full time wage.

It was a big deal, according to Stalenberg, who earlier in her career pulled beers at the Fitzroy Hotel to supplement her wage while training for high level sport.

“It has just been really helpful having more time,” she said.

“You can pretty much focus fully on the training and on the program and you get a lot more one on one time.

“It is a lot less stressful, not having to juggle other things in life.”

She said with all other the other women’s teams having minimum pay, thanks to the mid-year bargaining with Cricket Australia, it had already seen a marked improvement in play.

“I think it is really great for all the other states and players and it is really important for our competition and women's cricket,” she said.

“In the opening WNCL games, you could see there was some really dominate scoring and the games were really competitive.

I think that speaks for itself. Even the ACT team is looking pretty strong. SA looks strong and so does WA.

“All the teams are bringing all they can and it is good to see some dominance from other states not just NSW.”