Young gun Phoebe Litchfield balances a lot of hats.
The Kinross product is training as part of Sydney Thunder’s academy and playing first grade with Parramatta Women’s Grade Cricket Club each Sunday she can make it to Sydney.
Litchfield has donned Western caps, NSW hats and on Sunday took part in a WBBL exhibition match as part of the Lanning XII – and still finds time to line up for Kinross in the Orange District Cricket Association.
It’s been really, really good and exciting to train with the top players.Phoebe Litchfield talking about her time with Sydney Thunder
However, the gun batter will miss the resumption of ODCA games this weekend as Litchfield dons yet another hat – that of the Cricket Australia XI in the Under 18 National Championships in Bendigo and Ballarat.
And the extraordinary thing – she’s been picked in the under-18 carnival despite the fact she’s only 15.
“I’m really excited, it’s going to be a good challenge facing up against under-18 year olds,” she said.
“There was a lot of good talent and I was excited to be picked but it was in the balance.”
The CA XI is a bottom-aged, development focused side, but the side being picked across all states and territories means it’s no small feat to be picked up.
She’s proven her selection, too – averaging 46 for Parramatta from a mix of Twenty20 and longer-form games, with a 55 in her opening round in October and two scores in the 40s in the shorter format.
Litchfield is also averaging 41 in all ODCA games, and 31.5 in first grade, playing against men bowling “10,15 kilometres an hour – or more – quicker than anything else I face”.
She’s loved her time as part of a young side in Parramatta, who are leading the Sydney competition.
“It’s been really beneficial for my cricket playing against some of the best girls in Sydney and it’s been a real eye-opener to see how far I need to go,” she said.
“I’ve been going alright, I started off pretty well but have had a few dry patches but hopefully I’ll continue to score pretty well.”
Her training with Thunder has also reaped rewards, with Cricket NSW flying her and the two other regional girls to Sydney to take part, and then tacking state training on the end of the sessions to make the trips to Sydney less arduous.
And heaven knows the Litchfields – parents Andrew and Catherine, with even grandparents stepping up – are covering enough kilometres without adding more for the Thunder.
"It’s been really, really good and exciting to train with the top players,” she said of her time with the Thunder.
However, Litchfield is reaping the rewards of the trips, with the Twenty20 exhibition game showcasing some of the best young talent in the country.
She said the game was “really good”, but was miffed the first game – scheduled for Saturday night – was washed out.
“It was really good to open the batting, the fielding wasn’t easy but there were good scoring opportunity and partners around me helped me out until I got out,” she said.
“Playing a lot of T20s but I think I prefer the longer games better, there’s just more time but the T20s is exciting and entertaining.”
She’s got a few goals in mind heading into 2019, but for now she’s focused on the national championships, where she’ll come up against former Orange player Kira Churchland, who is playing for NT Country.
“After that carnival they pick an under-19s Australian squad to tour New Zealand and that’s one of my goals,” Litchfield said.
“Obviously it’s a long way off but if I can perform at the carnival, who knows?”
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