Bowdler’s big year progresses Paris’ career forward

YOUNG Aussie cricketer Paris Bowdler sure has had a huge year.

After going from what was essentially just a career in Victorian Premier Cricket to now having WNCL and WBBL contracts and an international tour under her belt, the last year has been huge for the teenager.

Originally a Victorian, Bowdler is now playing for the ACT Meteors and the Sydney Thunder, and was also a member of the inaugural Australian Under 19 squad that went over to the inaugural Under 19 World Cup earlier this year.

Bowdler really enjoyed the experience, but noted all the new experiences she had on that trip.

“It was my first time overseas so it was a bit overwhelming with it all going on,” Bowdler said.

“Full time cricket the whole time, no real days off like it is now, so it was a good warm up into it from going from two days of training a week, games on the weekend, but I didn’t really do too much over there. The experience was great, the support from the crowds was so different and the Bangladesh crowds were just something else, as were the Indian crowds. It was just a great experience overall, great to watch that sort of cricket and see how it’s progressing for girls.”

Being a member of that squad would have further reaching consequences for the young batting wicketkeeper, and helped her land a spot at the Meteors.

“The head coach at ACT was the coach for the Under 19 squad as well for South Africa, so I had a couple of chats won the phone with her,” she said. “I ended up getting a phone call saying ‘we’ll give you a contract’. I didn’t hear back from Victoria, because they’ve already got two wicket keeper batters as well, but I wasn’t really stressing about hearing back from them anyway, but I was pretty lucky to even get a spot in the ACT honestly.”

However she said that the contract with the Thunder “was a bit more out of the blue.”

“I wasn’t expecting to get any Big Bash contract at all,” she said. “I was probably just more focusing on trying to play well with WNCL but I got a phone call from Alex Blackwell and she said ‘we want to offer you a year at the Thunder, see how you go, see how you like it and just give it a go, move to Sydney for a few months and see what happens in the future.'”

Gaining those contracts interstate has meant Bowdler has had to move out of home, with the young star now living in Canberra. Despite that kind of move normally being daunting at any age, Bowdler thinks the move has worked out well.

“It’s been harder on my parents and my dog because they miss me a bit more,” she said. “But it’s been enjoyable, been something different because I’d have to do it eventually, but giving it a crack now has been a great opportunity.”

Her time at the Thunder is not her first taste of WBBL action, with a small stint at the Renegades last season also under her belt.  

“Well I was only with the Renegades for the end of the season so I didn’t get to do too much with them, but the experience with the Thunder has been a lot more hands on,” she said. “Lisa Keightly’s been a really great coach, same with Sarah Aley, they’ve all just been welcoming. They’ve helped a lot with how to approach a scenario in the nets as well, whereas with the Renegades, I wasn’t with them at the start, so I didn’t get much of that. But even just the girls they’ve been helping me with technical stuff or helping me in the nets or wicket keeping with Tahlia Wilson and been helping me with little things that I haven’t gotten help with over the last six months.”

At both the Meteors and Thunder, Bowdler gets to call some of the biggest names in the game her team mates and although she mostly has positive things to say about playing alongside them, there is one Thunder teammate that does scare her.

“It’s been terrifying around Kappy just because of the South African in her,” she said. “I keep getting told stories from the other girls when they tried to warm up to her she wasn’t very talkative but Heather Knight has been real great, she’s been helping me in the nets. Holly Ferling has been a real great leader at ACT as well, welcoming, trying to get me to open up a bit more to the girls as well. They’ve all been great and great to learn off as well.”

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