Like fa­ther, like daugh­ter

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Sport - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

ALYSHA Alikhan (15) had only been play­ing cricket for two months be­fore she was se­lected to rep­re­sent WA at the 2015 Un­der-15 Fe­male Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

The Clare­mont res­i­dent said her “first class crick­eter” fa­ther in­spired her to pick up the cricket bat.

“I started play­ing with the school (Pres­by­te­rian Ladies’ Col­lege) and then the WA Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion in­vited me to a couple of clin­ics, and af­ter that I was in­vited to their high per­for­mance squad,” Alysha said.

Alysha and her 12 team­mates will travel to Tas­ma­nia for the cham­pi­onships from Novem­ber 25 to De­cem­ber 1.

Coach Orazio San­talu­cia said he was con­fi­dent this year’s squad would be more pre­pared than ever, thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of the WACA Fe­male Acad­emy.

“The pro­gram has not only pro­vided the girls with top class coach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, but also a ded­i­cated strength and con­di­tion­ing pro­gram as well as holis­tic pro­grams such as nu­tri­tion ad­vice, sport psy­chol­ogy and player wel­fare,” San­talu­cia said.

Alysha said it was a chal­lenge play­ing a male­dom­i­nated sport.

“The ma­jor­ity of ad­min­is­tra­tion, fund­ing and in­fra­struc­ture are still heav­ily de­voted to men’s cricket,” she said.

“How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion is slowly get­ting bet­ter for women, and this year the WACA have de­voted more re­sources to de­vel­op­ing fe­male cricket.”

Alysha said her whirl­wind jour­ney to the na­tional cham­pi­onships helped her re­alise a love for a sport she had never con­sid­ered be­fore.

“I’m work­ing hard at my game and en­joy­ing the jour­ney, and I will just see where it takes me.”

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