LAUNCESTON’S reputation as a national cricket breeding ground, which has seen the likes of David Boon, Ricky Ponting, George Bailey, Alex Doolan and James Faulkner graduate to the highest level, was further enhanced when another name joined that list on Tuesday.
Hours after Bailey and Faulkner were part of the team that destroyed Zimbabwe, Kristen Beams got her first opportunity as a Southern Star when Australia wrapped up its ODI series against Pakistan.
Beams, originally from Legana, bowled nine overs of her leg spin (an art that has been rare for the national women’s team) during Australia’s eight-wicket win.
The 29-year-old collected 1-26, trapping Bismah Maroof, the leading run-scorer in the series, in front for 36 to capture her first international wicket.
While she represents Victorian Spirit in the women’s domestic competition, where she took 14 wickets at 13.21 last season, Beams’s cricket upbringing is very much Tasmanian.
Former Tasmanian Roar coach Jade Selby described the 29-year-old as one of the ‘‘driving forces’’ of the women’s program in this state, before moving to Victoria in 2007 to take up employment with Cricket Australia.
A former Exeter High School student, Beams played club cricket at Launceston and Westbury, represented the state at under-17 and under-19 level and was Cricket Tasmania’s women’s cricket officer before her move interstate.
A regular for the Shooting Stars, Beams said she had never given up hope of graduating to the Southern Stars.
‘‘I still thought I had it in me and I’ve been really enjoying my cricket,’’ she said after her debut.
‘‘I had the opportunity to go and play some county cricket in England, and (of late) I’ve been really enjoying my cricket more.
‘‘I came back probably with a different mindset and I think that has translated to playing some good cricket.
‘‘The finger spinners and the wrist spinners are really different, and it is probably a more attacking thing to be a leg-spinner.
‘‘I guess my job is to come on and take wickets and hopefully that is something that I can bring and let the other spinners do their bit.
‘‘It was nice to get that first wicket and get the monkey off the back a little bit and just to feel relaxed.’’
Beams has also been added to the squad for the four-match T20 series on the Gold Coast, which begins on Sunday.
The fourth and final ODI for the series will be played today at Redlands.