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 male-dominated 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.”