Amy Smith is an extraordinary young cricketer with the world at her feet.
Making her state debut at the age of 14 years old and her WBBL debut at 15, Three years on she’s won the Tasmanian Female Young Player of the Year Award twice and won a WNCL title with the Tasmanian Tigers.
To reflect on the last couple of years, The Inner Sanctum spoke exclusively to Amy Smith about her journey and her summer ahead.
A clearly very talented junior cricketer, Smith made history by becoming the youngest ever person to play for the Tasmanian Tigers in List A and First-Class Cricket. With this, she was also the youngest in the men’s and women’s categories.
Taking a wicket in each of her first two games against Victoria and Western Australia, Smith is very humble when speaking about her debut.
“I’m really grateful for that opportunity especially at a really young age to get that experience under my belt,” Smith said.
“It is an honour to represent my state at such a high level that’s professional.”
When asking her about her career so far and how she feels about her achievements, Smith is measured but overall content considering her time left in the game.
“I’m pretty happy with it (her career), I’ve had some ups and downs already so I think I’m just trying to learn and get better,” she said.
“Especially at my age and having not as much experience as the other girls, I’m pretty happy with how I am going at the moment, I have more to learn and more to prove hopefully.”
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Winning two Tasmanian Female Young Player of the Year awards as well as the Tasmanian Young Achiever Award for Sports, Smith has become one of the best young players to watch. While team success is always preferred, individual accolades are key to giving her confidence and will keep spurring her on.
“I think it’s obviously nice to win an award and to confirm to you that you are doing well,” Smith explained.
“It’s a nice reminder and it means quite a lot to get the youngest player award so getting that means a lot, it kind of reminds me that I’m good if that doubt is there.”
One of the highlights of her career was the recent WNCL title with the Tasmanian Tigers. During the series, she took 11 wickets from eight games with three wickets taken on three occasions. In the final, the Tigers took the win over the South Australian Scorpions by nine wickets where Smith featured with a crucial wicket bowling Josie Dooley for 66 runs.
She finished with a three-wicket haul that day but the thrill of the first ever title for Tasmania was the most special thing for Smith.
“That was quite an amazing experience, don’t really have the words to explain how much that meant to the players and Tasmania,” she said.
“We obviously haven’t had the best run in the past and we put a lot of work into getting to that point and to do it on the stage and get through and do it pretty well it means quite a lot.”
Coming through the ranks as a young player, older and more experienced teammates were the key to helping Smith settle in at the Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL and the Tasmanian Tigers in the WNCL.
Veteran Australian cricketer Elyse Villani has been that role model to Smith as she becomes the new captain of the Hurricanes in WBBL|08. Playing 34 ODIs and 62 T20 games for Australia as well as 87 WBBL games, Villani is the perfect mentor for Smith.
“Majority of the players are pretty supportive and get around you quite a lot,” Smith said.
“Elyse Villani, our captain is really good at getting around each player and that so I think she’s a big help for myself.
“[As well as Villani] some of the internationals that I have played with have been incredible and have such knowledge about the game that is quite helpful so pretty much everyone I’ve learned something off and has helped me.”
For the first time in a couple of seasons, the Women’s Big Bash League will return to a more traditional format with the festival fixture. Playing more games in front of home crowds in Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria, some players are going to get their first taste of the atmosphere of the home fans.
“I think a lot of us are quite excited, especially myself because when I did debut for the ‘Canes’ we were in the hub so I haven’t experienced the normality of the Big Bash yet so I think it’s going to be quite interesting and a lot of fun,” she explained.
“I am really keen to play with our whole team, I think we’ve got a pretty good team with a lot of experience so I think that will be really fun to play with them and it will be great to play against all the top players in Australia and out of Australia.”
Playing the last few seasons of WBBL, Smith has played 27 games taking 12 wickets at an economy of 7.37 and a strike rate of 27.67.
Joining Australian talent such as Villani, Nicola Carey and Molly Strano, Smith will have some great mentors in this year’s iteration of the WBBL.
“I really hope to improve on my performance from last season, I don’t think I performed my best obviously with a lot of change and bumps along the way, so I hope to perform a little bit better and have an impact for my team.”
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