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As the WBBL comes to a conclusion in the next couple of weeks, teams out of contention will begin to trial players in different roles to see whether they’ll be retained for WBBL|05.
WBBL|05 will be held between October and November as a standalone tournament, so clubs will be looking to fill up their squads sooner than usual.
Melbourne Stars batswoman Katie Mack is one of quite a few WBBL stars without a contract for next season, and she’ll be looking to prove a point to the cricketing world in the side’s final two games.
The 25-year-old made her 50-game milestone earlier this season and has played more matches for the Stars than anyone in WBBL history.
Starting off as a spinner in Sydney’s western suburbs, Mack has turned into brilliant batswoman. Only a few years ago she was knocking on the door for national selection after scoring her maiden one-day century for the ACT Meteors her adopted home city. She went on to become one of only three foundation Stars women’s players alongside Kristen Beams and Alana King to still be at the club.
But Twenty20 cricket is hit and miss, and Mack, like many of her Stars teammate, has suffered an inconsistent season and thus finds herself thus far without a contract at the end of her current two-year deal, which expires at the end of the season. But there are many reasons for the Melbourne team to retain her into the new season.
Katie Mack the worker
Katie is not a big hitter like Lizelle Lee or Ellyse Perry but has the cricketing starts when out at the crease. She works her runs around the ground. When she scores those twos and threes, she usually goes on to get a contributing score to the team. If she has time up her sleeve, she can make a big impact on the game.
Running hard between the wickets
Mack is very fit and runs hard between the wickets. She would back herself to take on the field and score the quick runs. It’s a coach’s nightmare to see players run out, but Mack is one who doesn’t miss. If you’re out at the crease with K-Mack, be prepared to run quick!
Great in the field
She has taken some ripper catches out in the deep. Her quick running also helps save the boundaries, particularly in the powerplay, when fielders are restricted. She has safe hands, which is always great for T20 cricket.
It was reported last summer that the NSW native turned down offers from both the Sixers and the Thunder to join the Stars for the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League, and she has remained loyal throughout her tenure. Loyalty is something that isn’t strong in franchise cricket, and being one of only three players to remain at the club since WBBL|01 says something. She appears to be loving her time at the Stars and loves the club.
She’ll be looking to step up in WBBL|05
It’s no secret that she’s had a tough time in WBBL|04, but Katie Mack is always eager to improve and perform to help her team out. After a hard year this summer, she will look to contribute more and step up to the plate as a key batswoman in the Stars side. It is rare you see a player have two bad seasons in a row, so Mack will be looking to get back at the Stars next year and prove a point.
We have seen glimpses of brilliance from the Stars girls this year, but unfortunately it looks as if it just won’t be enough to make their maiden finals appearance. But if they can be consistent enough, they could prove the doubters wrong and turn some heads come WBBL finals time next season in a standalone tournament with all the lights shining on women’s cricket.
I hope Katie is part of the team next year, as she’s a great, powerful and inspirational woman who has a very bright future ahead of her.