Big birds to fly at night

DESPITE a long career playing junior cricket, 13-year-old Meika King has never played the indoor version before.

After being selected for the Victorian under 14 junior indoor cricket team, she has four months to prepare for the national championships, to be held in Mackay, Queensland, in July.

There are no indoor cricket facilities in Gippsland, meaning plenty of travel for King and her family, but she is keen to learn.

“It’s good to have a change,” she said, after a couple of training sessions.

“In outdoor, if you hit it hard and it goes past the fielder, it’s a few runs, but if you hit it hard in indoor, it hits the wall and bounces back, so it’s easier to get out.”

This means more precision batting and strategy is required, she said, adding another level to the game.

Indoor cricket is also played without helmets, with players instead using a mouthguard.

She was selected after trying out in the summer, and is keen to make her mark.

King was recently part of the Collegians side which won the SMCA premiership, and said she was keen to take the first step towards playing for Australia — a step higher than her father Nathan King, who was in the Victorian cricket squad.

She’s the only girl in the team, so far, but said she was not afraid of going toe-to-toe with the boys.

“I’m deputy vice-captain, and got second in the Sale-Maffra MVP awards,” she said proudly, and was also picked as a Gippsland Star — the best under 21 female player in the Sale-Maffra association.

Her advice for any girls interested in playing cricket, especially as interest in the WBBL grows, was to stay tough.

“It can be a bit scary at times because sometimes they can be physically a bit bigger, so just don’t be intimidated by it and do your best.”