Erin Osborne relishing life in nation's capital

3 November, 2016
ACA Member, Australian Women's Cricket Team Spinner, current Sydney Thunder and ACT Meteors player Erin Osborne chats about her experiences playing cricket in the nation's capital, her studies in Exercise Science, and life away from cricket in Canberra.

At 27, Erin Osborne is starting to consider her cricketing mortality, but with a move to ACT last season, she feels she still has much to give the game in the nation's capital.

Moving from Sydney was an important move for the Australian off-spinner, who confessed to never being entirely comfortable in a large city such as Sydney. She is now focused on not only playing for ACT, but developing the cricket pathway for girls in the area.

"The ACT is pretty young in terms of WNCL cricket, so growing the profile of that and encouraging a lot more girls to play here would be nice," Osborne said.

"We don't have I guess all the bells and whistles of all the other states, but it's something that we are working on and creating pathways and that kind of thing."

Like 2015-16, Osborne has been playing for ACT Meteors in the WNCL, a change she made to get closer to her country roots.

"Coming from Tamworth moving to Sydney was a massive change of lifestyle and a move away from family which is very important to me," she said of her move to Sydney in 2008.

"[Last season] I decided to move to Canberra where I have family support, and Canberra is essentially a country town with everything I need to continue enjoying playing cricket!"

In 2008 Osborne made the move to Sydney from Tamworth, where she was determined to break into the perennially successful Breakers team.

Originally a batsman, she burst onto the Domestic scene as an off-spinner, which eighteen months later would be the craft she was selected for when she made her debut for the Australian female team

"I would have been 18 [when I moved from Tamworth], and I wanted to really try and break into the Breakers team at that time," she said.

"I didn't expect for it to happen that quickly, especially as I wasn't bowling much spin at the time, I had only started bowling it a year before."

Consistently performing since her debut, she was quoted earlier this year as being disappointed in being left out of the Australian women's tour of India in early 2016. Osborne bounced back however, being selected for the Sri Lanka tour where she took three wickets from her four games in Australian colours.

Off the field, Osborne is a qualified Exercise Physiologist, and has recently began another course of education which is all part of preparing herself for post-retirement.

"Moving forward, I'm not too sure to be honest, I'm starting to come to the end of my career and I'm starting to think about life after cricket, which is a bit daunting," Osborne said.

"I finished an Exercise Science Clinical Physiology degree earlier this year and am currently completing my level 3 cricket coaching course.

"I intend to continue studying next year with the University of New England and complete a Psychological Science Graduate Diploma."

Her journey to Sydney in 2008 not only reaped cricket rewards, but career ones as well, after being introduced to a friend of a teammate who helped her decide to follow the degree she would complete seven years later.

"When I went to Sydney, I met one of the girls' friends and he had a practice and he just showed me around.

"He was working as an exercise physiologist and I wasn't sure what to do at Uni at that stage and he managed to talk me into studying it."

Another major influence on Osborne has been her family, so much so that her brothers and parents still have a role to play when it comes to her cricket career.

"I'm really close with to my family who have supported me with different roles when it comes to cricket," she said.

"Dad was my coach and taxi driver for a few years; every Sunday morning Mum and Dad drove from Tamworth to Sydney and back again to support my cricket ambitions.

"Sean, my oldest brother supports my cricket career from a development and improvement perspective, [while] Mum is my sounding board.

"Troy who is a couple years older than me is always good at motivating me and very supportive of my on-field goals - in his eyes I play the perfect game every time"

Osborne will be back in Sydney shortly this summer, pulling on the green and black for the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL.

Osborne was pleased with how the opening season of the WBBL was embraced by the public, and how the tournament will help pave the way for future generations of female players.

"The WBBL has started successfully because for the first time we had a platform to showcase our talent," Osborne said.

"Fans turned up to matches, and watched on TV. The format was received really well."

"As the women's game continues to move into a professional era, girls are able to dedicate more time to their skills, and now we are starting to see that improvement transitioning into games."

The development of the game continues to be an area of interest for the off-spinner, as a Delegate to the ACA and finishing her level three coaching course.

Earlier this week she called for the WNCL season to be lengthened, to ensure that female cricketers were getting adequate matches to showcase their talent.

"I think there's a big push to play more one-day cricket," Osborne told Fairfax Media.

"Big Bash has been quite influential in the visible pathway for younger girls, however, we believe that one-day cricket is vital in developing players and just giving them an opportunity to actually bat and bowl for a longer period of time.

"It's an interesting time, we're really looking forward to negotiating with Cricket Australia and trying to prolong one-day cricket here in Australia."

Osborne has begun the WNCL with 7 wickets from 4 matches for the Meteors, and led them to a famous victory in Round 4, with 4-24 (10) defending a small total against reigning champions South Australia.

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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