“I can hold my own when it comes to the boys.”
A lifelong cricket enthusiast who grew up with competitive brothers, Claire Koski had no hesitations when she was offered the opportunity to play in the mens fourth grade side with the Campbelltown Camden Ghosts last weekend – a first for the Ghosts.
The 25-year-old is a talented batting all-rounder and is a member of the Sydney Thunder Women’s Big Bash League team as well as playing in the Women’s National Cricket League for the ACT.
She was looking to get some more match practice under her belt and was keen to take up the chance to play with the men.
“The lads were great and very accepting of me,” she said.
“They were very grown up about playing alongside a girl, they knew I was there like any other cricketer and I was going to work hard.”
Koski has been with the Ghosts since she was 12 or 13 years old.
Born and raised in Campbelltown, she’s recently relocated to Ramsgate but loves coming home to train.
Playing with the mens team also allowed her to play the two-day form of the game – which isn’t offered to the women’s team at the same level.
“I’m a traditionalist when it comes to cricket, I love the long form of the game,” she said.
“I really enjoyed myself on the weekend.”
Koski – captain of the Ghosts’ first grade women’s side – is pleased at the changing landscape for women in cricket.
The recent move to televise the Women’s Big Bag League has provided greater scope for players to move into media and build their profiles.
She encourages young girls to give the sport ago.
“I’m not going to lie, like most sports cricket is male dominated,” she said.
“But the Big Bash and the success of the women’s team internationally shows that it can be played by everyone and anyone at a high level.
“Cricket is about much more than the physicality, it’s a very strategic game.
“I’ve played a lot of sports in my life but I still always remember one day playing indoor cricket and just thinking ‘this is the sport for me’.
“I’ve played alongside men and women and it’s never been an issue for me.”