Adelaide Strikers/Australian Women's Cricket Team's Darcie Brown (Picture Cricket Australia, Design by Will Cuckson)

20-year-old Australian tearaway quick Darcie Brown is a naturally talented athlete on the cricket pitch, however she had more than just cricket in her sights early on.

Having won a WBBL title, numerous ICC Cricket World Cups and a Commonwealth Games gold, Darcie Brown started out playing nearly any sport she could, just because she loved being active.

By the time she was a teenager, Brown had started playing high level basketball, cricket, netball and Aussie Rules as well as tennis.

In 2018 Brown was part of the South Australian schoolgirl’s netball team that won the national title, in the same year she made 117 off 84 balls in Adelaide Premier Cricket (in what is believed to be the biggest 50-over score of 3/596).

A year later Brown was included in the Adelaide Crows AFL Academy and made history becoming the youngest player to sign for the Adelaide Strikers at the time.

Darcie Brown spoke exclusively to The Inner Sanctum about the decision to pursue cricket and how that has changed her life.

“I basically played anything under the sun, [when I was younger],” Brown told The Inner Sanctum.

“I played netball and footy, they were my main sports and I also played basketball [for a bit]. I played ‘netty’ and footy in the winter on Saturday then I’d play basketball in the summer.

“I was trying to find another sport for summer so I tried tennis, I tried summer netball [and] then I tried cricket. I played ‘Milo cricket’ but I didn’t really like it that much [so] I played with my brothers and dad in the front yard and from there I played each year.

“[After that I] got nominated to trial to play for the state team and it sort of just took off from there, [I then went] through the pathway but I kept playing all those sports until I was about 15 or 16 [years-old].”

Having had the ability to play a few different sports, Brown settled on cricket due to the international nature of the game and the pathways available for young girls being established.

“[Cricket] was so different compared to those other three sports that I played,” she said.

“[Initially] I loved the afternoon teas, but I [also] made some really good friends, if I didn’t have them I probably wouldn’t be playing to be honest.

“Friendship is the main thing [that kept me playing cricket] but it is [also] so different, it makes you think a lot more and it’s a bit more individual which I’m not sure if I like or don’t like. I [also] love being out there with my friends.”

More Crossing Codes

    When looking at how an athlete would play all the different ball sports that Brown did, it’s evident that hand-eye coordination would be an advantage that would carry over. She explained what aspects of netball and Aussie Rules Football transitioned well to elite level cricket.

    “[The sports] are so different but I guess you’d have to go for a ball [in all of them] and that’s what I did a lot in ‘netty’ and footy,” Brown described.

    “I guess that athleticism [and] anticipation [helps in the field, although] none of it helped me with my batting, that’s why I’m not a good batter. I [also think that] that sort of skill, to be focused when the ball comes to you really helps [in cricket].”

    When looking back at the crossroads she was faced with when she started to seriously pursue cricket, Brown doesn’t worry about whether she’s made the ‘right’ choice because she is still hoping to cross codes again if possible later on in life.

    “It wasn’t necessarily a choice [to play cricket] or anything but it was more the opportunities that I’d been given, I got to travel the world well to New Zealand as a 16-year-old and it was too good to pass up,” she said.

    “I definitely will return to those sports whether it be when I’m old and wrinkly, I’ll be one of those old girls playing netball locally but I just love all sports and hopefully one day I can play them again.”

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