Cricket World Cup wonderkid Alana King reveals Shane Warne’s big bowling tip – have fun
“She actually gave me one of her hats, which is still in the raffle in Melbourne. It’s a moment I will treasure for a very long time. For her now to comment on me is quite special.
Former Australia captain Belinda Clark was quick to phone King’s parents during her early high school years if she could play senior women’s cricket.
It was the start of a path to the top that saw King become Australia’s top wicket-taker in the Women’s World Cup with five under-17 after wins over England and the Pakistan.
She received an unexpected call-up to the Ashes this year following a serious knee injury from Georgia Wareham.
In the past, Australia’s match against India on March 19 would cause a friendly dispute in the King household as his parents, Leroy and Sharon King, are Anglo-Indians from Chennai.
“They were still with India and I was still going for Australia. I would wear my green and gold shirt,” she laughed.
“Obviously now that they have a girl representing green and gold, they’ve changed very quickly. They support Australia, that’s for sure.
The great thing about having Indian parents, especially an international hotel chef dad, is the food.
This made King a particularly popular member of the team she represented.
During Ashes, Leroy cooked a feast at home and delivered it to the team hotel.
“It worked perfectly,” Alana said. “It was a good night to get the whole team together and have a meal because usually everyone is doing their own thing.”
Leroy accommodated 30, which Alana said was not a constraint given that family gatherings can stretch to 50.
King believes his success will help South Asian boys and girls believe they can play for Australia.
“You can be what you can see,” she said.
“Representing your country is a great inspiration to all children growing up.
“Obviously Lisa Shalekar was of Indian descent. She was the first Indian I saw playing for Australia.
“I was like ‘well, it’s possible’ and now you see Usman Khawaja in the men’s space opening the stick for Australia in a test match, and he’s trying to inspire the next generation of kids who live in this beautiful country.
“They can play for Australia even though they have a different heritage.
“I think it’s great. We are seeing more and more kids of South Asian descent picking up a bat and a ball and knowing there is a path for them.