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Aussie cricketers seeking rare Gold medal




Australia’s women’s cricketers have set two lofty goals for their historic Commonwealth Games campaign.

First, win the gold medal when women’s Twenty20 cricket debuts at a Games.

“We are going over there to win gold, there’s no doubt about that,” captain Meg Lanning told reporters on Thursday.

“We go out there to win every game that we can and the first Commonwealth Games medal up for grabs in women’s cricket is certainly something we’re striving for.”

Secondly, Lanning wants her team – a trailblazer in 50-over cricket – to now push the proverbial boundaries of what can be achieved in the T20 format.

“It’s something we have spoken about as a group as a whole and also within our skill groups as well, in terms of how do we get that little bit better and push the boundaries that little bit more than we have in the past,” Lanning said.

“We have got a couple of things we have been working on both as a team and individually as well.”

Australia enter the Birmingham Commonwealth Games starting on July 28 as world No.1 in T20 cricket.

And Lanning said a recent coaching change had been seamless, with Shelley Nitschke taking over as interim coach following Matthew Mott’s departure to coach England’s men’s white-ball teams.

Nitschke, hot favourite to win the head coaching role on a permanent basis when a decision is made later this year, has echoed Mott’s mantra: be brave.

“It is going to look and feel slightly different with Shell in charge as opposed to Motty,” Lanning said.

“But both similar messaging in terms of how we want to play the game, take the game on, we certainly want to go out there and be aggressive and play with a lot of freedom.”

The Australians leave on Monday for Ireland where they will play four games, two each against Ireland and Pakistan.

Lanning expects those fixtures to be a perfect tune-up for Australia’s Games campaign which opens against world No.4 India on July 29.

“Being part of that bigger Australian team which is something we really want to embrace,” she said.

“To represent Australia on a really big stage, a new platform for the game to be able to reach a new audience, is something that is really exciting for the sport.

“It’s hugely special. I grew up watching a lot of the Commonwealth Games and I just love the team atmosphere.”

© AAP





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