It’s safe to say it’s been a big couple of months for Murray Bridge’s cricketing-sensation Annie O’Neil.
Strong form throughout her time as captain of the South Australian under-18 side and an invitation to train with the SA Scorpions women’s cricket side culminated in two impressive achievements.
O’Neil was included in the 2017/2018 Adelaide Strikers Women’s Big Bash League side and smashing the highest score in the Sturt Cricket Club’s 120-year history – 242 not off 144 balls.
The 18-year-old said the Strikers selection was thrilling, but she knew it would be hard work to break into the side.
WBBL has done so much for women’s cricket, so when I found out about my contract, I was quickly onto mum who was over the moon I think even more than I was.Annie O'Neil
“It will be tough to make it into the first 11 anyway, let alone in my first year,” she said.
“Some of the girls I’ll be playing with have played at the international level, so they’ve got a fair bit more experience than me at this stage.”
O’Neil said she would use the WBBL tournament as a learning experience as she heads into the next stage of her career.
“I’m really excited for it (WBBL) to start but I’ll have a lot to learn off the older players and I think they will have a big influence on bringing the team together,” O’Neil said.
Naturally, the selection thrilled her.
“WBBL has done so much for women’s cricket, so when I found out about my contract, I was quickly onto mum who was over the moon I think even more than I was.”
As for the record, O’Neil was pumped about it.
“Holding a club record is pretty cool,” she said.
“I think it was really the first time I’ve actually really focussed on staying in for a long time.”
She broke the record for the highest women’s one-day score in the state, knocking off Karen Rolton’s 2009/2010 record of 236 for Port Adelaide.
Strikers head coach Andrea McCauley was delighted to sign local girls who had come through the South Australian pathway.
“Annie is a very good athlete who is improving all the time. I think they are both very exciting prospects for the future.”
The Strikers open WBBL|03 with games against Hobart Hurricanes at Glenelg’s Gliderol Stadium on 9 and 10 December.