13/04/2024

Former Irish international Kim Garth will look to make an impact in the green and gold of Australia against India this summer (Picture: Cricket Australia/website)

As she looks to make her debut in the green and gold of Australia, Irish-born all-rounder Kim Garth is reflecting on where she’s come from. Making the move to Victoria from her homeland, she’s stunned that her big move might soon bring more international cricket.

Playing 89 matches for Ireland before moving to Australia a few years ago, Garth looks to add to her tally when the series against India kicks off this weekend.

Moving for more consistent domestic cricket and the chance to compete with and against the best international and domestic players, she never pictured herself making her Australian debut once gaining permanent residency.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Australia and India series, Garth reflects on her journey up until this point.

“It wasn’t really on the cards to be honest, I moved across and made Victoria my home to play cricket for a living and play cricket for Victoria,” she explained.

“Then in the process of doing that hopefully [I’d] get permanent residency which I have done and in doing that I’ve become a local for the Big Bash so that was the goal when I first came over, anything after that was a bonus but to be honest I didn’t really think about it at all.”

She then speaks more in depth about what drew her to relocating to Australia with the standard of cricket in domestic leagues and wanting to play more cricket driving her decision making.

“It obviously wasn’t an easy decision at all but having played a few years here in grade cricket and seeing the lifestyle that some of the girls live and being able to play cricket every day and do that for a living and not have to work other jobs, that’s something that really wanted to do,” Garth said.

“It was a now or never type thing because I knew that once I turned 23, I knew it would take a few years to become a local and so if I left it much longer it probably wouldn’t be worthwhile. It was definitely a difficult decision to leave family and friends behind but it’s one that I’ve really enjoyed and [I’ve] really had no regrets in doing that so far.”

Becoming one of the stand-out all-rounders in the Australian cricketing landscape, she has seen her move pay dividends. She explains how she’s seen her evolution in the game over the last few years.

“It was just a really nice surprise [to be selected] and I feel like I’ve put in some good consistent performances in domestic cricket over the last few years. I’m really excited to take that next step up and get back to international cricket albeit for a different team this time but I’m incredibly excited to get going,” Garth explained.

“I think [my game] has definitely evolved over that time, that was part of making that move to Australia was to be in a more full-time kind of set-up so I suppose just from increased training and being around the best players in the world consistently I think it has definitely come along.”

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The move didn’t come without its potential downsides, with Garth admitting that she was unsure as to whether she would be able to play on the international stage after taking a chance on Australia. Playing for Ireland was something she would be forgoing, not knowing if she’d would ever play for her new nation.

“That was a big factor in how difficult the decision was to be making, I knew what I was giving up but at the same time needed the strength of the domestic set-up over here. Looking at how strong the depth of the local players are and also the WBBL was a big pull for me in trying to become a local and obviously they attract the big international players [in the WBBL] so it was very difficult thing to give up.”

“Hopefully I do get some opportunity and if so hopefully with the new ball maybe or maybe first change but certainly in the side in a new ball capacity maybe which has given me some success in the WBBL but as I said I’m not 100 per cent sure but if I do get my opportunity it will be exciting.”

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One teammate that she has leaned on in the Victorian WNCL squad is veteran all-rounder Ellyse Perry. Describing her as someone that has helped her get to where she is, Garth explains her role in her growth.

“Ellyse Perry is obviously part of the Victorian set-up and she’s been very supportive and really helped me over the last few years since I’ve been in the set-up being around the group. I think she’s been a really big supporter of mine and a really good friend over the last year so that was really exciting.”

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The five game T20 series between Australia vs India kicks off on Friday night (local time) from Mumbai.

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