SACA Scorpions batter Emma De Broughe (Picture: Cricket Australia, Design by Will Cuckson)

Having been a dual-code athlete from a young-age, the short-term focus on cricket has yielded sizeable results for young South Australian batter Emma De Broughe. Playing local hockey to keep in touch with the game while playing cricket for the Scorpions, she has had her best performances to date this season.

As a 22-year-old playing as a opening batter in the South Australian Scorpions side, Emma De Broughe is starting to hit her straps, registering a maiden ton in December after two half centuries early this year. Having given away the juggle of playing hockey for the Adelaide Fire alongside cricket in an elite capacity, this switch has given De Broughe the clarity and the focus to give cricket a ‘real’ go.

Speaking exclusively to The Inner Sanctum, De Broughe explains how she’s improving her game and where her time is being spent when training individually.

“I think I’ve made some huge improvements, physically I’ve spent a lot more time in the gym, with hockey I was doing a lot of running which sort of didn’t help my batting too much because you don’t need to be that aerobically fit,” De Broughe told The Inner Sanctum.

“[So I was] just getting fit in the gym [so I could be] a bit more powerful and it’s really helped, [I’m] basically hitting the ball harder [and] I’m able to adapt more as well. I’ve added a lot of shots to my game as well, I’ve been working my ramp shots and I’ve got some things like that to spread the field.

“I’m also adding a reverse switch hit in as well and then as I said before I’m hitting the ball hard basically, I’ve always had a strong off-side game but adding to my leg-side game, it’s really helped me score more freely and there’s not as much pressure on just going to my strengths that I had which now I’ve got some more strengths that I can go to.”

One of her best innings so far for South Australia was her 93 runs that she scored in March this year, having been inconsistent with the bat, she felt like this started her solid form. Putting the couple of performances like this together helped her to build confidence and play her way more often at the level since stepping up from club cricket.

“Those two couple of games, they were both half-centuries, so it gave me a lot of confidence going forward and towards the rest of the season,” she said.

“It’s always tough as an opening batter but once you do get going, once you get yourself in then you can really build a big innings and you do feel a lot more comfortable, scoring a big more freely and the field is spread a bit, there’s not as much pressure on you.”

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Last season De Broughe was a part of the WNCL side that lost the final to the eventual champions, the Tasmanian Tigers Women’s side. Being something that they have used to strengthen the team and not bring them down, De Broughe says another year under the belt has meant the team knows what it takes to perform on the biggest stage.

“We put some really consistent performances on the board, basically batters and bowlers were always contributing to, and that’s what makes your game, you can’t just have bowlers doing well or batters doing well and then obviously made it to the final and Tassie had a very strong side,” De Broughe explained.

“I think everyone sort of added to their game this year, everyone’s a year older, we did have quite a young squad so I think the way we are tracking it looks like we are going really well.

“[Hopefully] everyone is available going into the finals series because the [Australian contracted players] didn’t even get to play a game last year in the fixture with all of their international commitments so I think if we can just keep putting those consistent performances on the board then we will be on our way to try and go one better.”

One of the best talents recently coming out of the South Australian pathway has been all-rounder Tahlia McGrath. De Broughe gives some insight about her rise in the game and what it is like to have McGrath as well as Darcie Brown, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Megan Schutt around to teach the younger squad members outside of Australian commitments.

“It’s been awesome [and] I think it just shows how good the skillset is, that they do dominate at this level really and we saw Tahlia earlier on in the year make a hundred and really save the day for us in the last over,” she said.

“It shows that what they do on the international stage really always comes back and they do show and perform for us at this level. It’s awesome to see them do well internationally, it just shows that they are literally the best players going around and it’s awesome to have them around when they are here.”

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