Cooke leads by example

If she had a choice, she probably wouldn’t want the role of captain in any team. But Zoe Cooke proved that nothing fazes her, when she took on captaincy and with it the player of the tournament accolade at the Under 18s Female Cricket Championships recently.

The Yass local led the ACT side into action at Ballarat, and said at first she was reluctant to lead the side.

“Really, if I had a choice I wouldn’t captain. But it made sense because I was the most experienced.”

The ACT Meteors star said she got a bit of advice from her captain, Chris Britt, and was able to transfer a lot of that to the matches in Ballarat.

“I always look at Chris and wonder how she does it. It just requires a lot more thought and I think it was a good challenge for me.”

Against the other states, the ACT finished in sixth place but Cooke said her team has a big future.

“There are so many younger girls and I think we will just get better and better. I have another year in the under 18s so it will be good to see how we go next year.”

Playing as a bowling all-rounder Cooke notched 251 runs and took 14 wickets in the six games. She never anticipated performing that strongly.

“I was hoping to go well, but I never thought I’d go that well. I thought maybe I’d make the team of the tournament, but getting player of the tournament, along with WA player Chloe Paparo, was unbelievable.”

Cooke took three wickets against eventual champions NSW and had a top score of 70 not-out.

“I was particularly happy with my batting, I never dreamed of batting that well at that level.”

Cooke will begin year 12 on Monday and she has aspirations to perform well in the HSC.

“It’d be nice to go well, but I want to keep up my cricket and keep playing at a high level so it will be hard.”

Playing for the ACT in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and playing for Northern Districts in Sydney means busy weekends for Cooke, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She said that playing for Australia would of course be great, but it is not really a goal at this point.

“Everyone wants to play for their country but really, at the moment, I just want to cement my spot in the ACT team and continue to work hard on my bowling.

“At the moment I’m really getting four from six in the right spot when I bowl. At this level it has to be six from six. That’s what I want to work towards.”

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