Australia is experiencing a high, at least as far as cricket and tennis are concerned. The Aussies have had remarkable stint so far in the ICC World Cup 2019. They top the points table as of now, ahead of New Zealand and India with 12 points. Having lifted the trophy a record five times previously (1987,1999,2003,2007,2015), they are generally touted as the tournament favourites each time around and are definitely in the running to clinch title yet again.
The Aussies became the first team to book a semi-final berth when they handed a decisive 64 run defeat to hosts England yesterday. With strong performances on all fronts, its all sunshine and rainbows for the Australians.
Another star studding Australia's sporting firmament is twenty-three year old cricketer-turned-tennis pro Ashleigh Barty. Something of a prodigy, Ashleigh even won the junior Wimbledon singles event back in 2011. After an indefinite hiatus from tennis is 2014, during which she signed up for Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League notwithstanding a lack of formal cricket training. After a injury marred return to tennis, Barty witnessed a mercurial ascent in 2017. In summation, she holds six singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA tour, including a Grand Slam singles titles with a 2019 French Open win as well as a Grand Slam doubles at the 2018 US Open with CoCo Vandeweghe. At the recently concluded Birmingham Classic, Ashleigh upended Julia Gorges to attain the World No.1 ranking, becoming only the second Australian after Evonne Goolagong Cawley to rise to the top, 43 years after the latter did.
Her love for cricket clearly has not ebbed though, as she was seen in the stands for yesterday's Australia versus England showdown. Post the match, she hung out with the team as well as coach Justin Langer and captain Aaron Finch. On their part, the Aussies seem to be huge fans of Barty.
After Australia knocked off the No.1 ODI team in the world, who better to help celebrate than the world's new No.1 female tennis player, @ashbar96! #CWC19: @MaugerVideo pic.twitter.com/AIDsR6IEia— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) June 25, 2019
The skipper's wife Amy even took to Twitter in response to photos of the meeting posted by Barty. In reference to one of the pictures, with Aaron Finch and Ashleigh Barty beaming into the camera, Amy replied: “The smile on my hubby’s face in that pic is bigger than when he met the queen. Stoked!”
It seems the elation on Finch's face, who appeared starstruck, exceeded the occasion when he met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry ahead of the World Cup, alongside the captains of all other teams.
Barty expressed a similar sentiment, tweeting,“Unbelievable day at Lords. Thank you Finchy and JL (Justin Langer) for inviting us and putting on a clinic!! What a venue.”
Australia have two group stage games remaining, against New Zealand and South Africa. Ashleigh, on the other hand, is all set for Wimbledon. Her friendly meet-up with the boys, who are themselves on the quest for World Cup glory, might as well prove a lucky charm, when she strolls onto the grassy lawns next week, donning white.