Chloe Piparo made a promise to herself ahead of this summer – to remember why she started playing cricket and simply enjoy the game. As WA captain, Piparo knows all about pressure, but the return of the Women’s Big Bash League for a fifth season might just be the perfect opportunity for the experienced batter to achieve that goal.
“It’s probably the year for me where I’ve tried to balance up the pressure to perform so I’m just trying to enjoy my cricket and treat it as a bit of fun and a game,” Piparo told emageogroup.com. “So the biggest change for me is my mindset and just trying to have fun and enjoy it.
“It’s often lost on a lot of us because we do train so much and you want to perform and be successful and reap the rewards for the effort you put in. At the end of the day, if we’re putting that much pressure on ourselves, it’s not the best mindset to perform so we’ve got to go back to why we started playing and have fun. We get to go out there and play with some of our best mates and create a really good team bond. For me, it’s just trying to have fun, enjoy the process, enjoy the Big Bash and what it’s got to offer.”
Donning the orange means Piparo goes from captain in the WNCL, to a player under Australian and Scorchers skipper Meg Lanning for the duration of the T20 tournament.
And after leading WA to a 2-0 start in WNCL last month, it’s an opportunity the 25-year-old leader is determined not to waste.
“I try and learn as much as I can off Meg and all the senior players that we’ve got in the group,” Piparo said. “I’m pretty conscious of not being too annoying just trying to listen in the background, I guess, and see what they have to say.
“For me to just be able to go out and play and train and not have to worry about anything else is quite nice.
“Meg has been a really good addition for us, just with her experience and what she brings to the group and I guess that’s one thing to tap into, is the pressure of expectation and how she handles that as well.
“I really like leading WA. I really enjoy the group we’ve got. I like to think I’m pretty close with the majority of the girls we’ve got and have a good relationship with them and I think it’s just a really exciting group and I enjoy the added pressure and challenge of leading the group and hopefully there is success around the corner.”
Piparo hopes to play a role in the middle or lower order against the Melbourne Renegades in St Kilda tomorrow.
As a mainstay over the past four seasons of the Big Bash, she is desperate to taste the ultimate success this summer.
The Scorchers have twice been WBBL runners up.
“It doesn’t really count for anything that we’ve made finals three out of the four years, we’ve been there or thereabouts but we haven’t won anything so I think that’s been pretty disappointing,” Piparo said. “I think this year the squad is shaping up really well so we’ll give it another red hot crack.”
Piparo expected a tough challenge against the Renegades tomorrow as the WBBL enjoys a standalone season.
“Every team is pretty strong,” Piparo said. “I think the Renegades recruited quite well with Tammy Beaumont coming into the team and they’ve got a lot of spin, which seems to be really successful in women’s cricket overall, so it will be a really good match up and hopefully we can get off to a good start.
“For us, it’s still a really big unknown on how the standalone fixture is going to go and how much support we’re going to have and that type of thing but hopefully, with marketing and branding, it’s really successful.”