Ash Barty Australian Open 2021

Australian captain would ‘certainly be interested’ if Ash Barty wants cricketing return

Top Australian cricketers Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry would “certainly be interested” if Ash Barty wanted to return to professional cricket, but emphasised the importance of “finding her next career move by herself.”

Ash Barty shocked the sporting world last month when she announced her retirement from tennis at the age of just 25 years old.

As such, the now former World number one raised questions over the next stages of her career, with many speculating that she may turn to golf, make a return to cricket or even pursue Australian rules football.

Earlier this week, the Australian icon won the Brookwater Golf and Country Club ladies tournament in Australia, taking home prize winnings of £17.

Although, Barty previously enjoyed a stint playing professional cricket when she played for the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League in 2015 and 2016.

Australia’s cricket captain Meg Lanning was as shocked by Barty’s retirement as everyone else, saying “I was surprised. I think we all were. You don’t expect someone who’s going so well and dominating to call time. It’s a very brave call.”

Speaking on a Barty making a potential return to cricket, Lanning said “if she wants to come and have another crack at cricket, [we] would certainly be interested in talking to her.

“She was pretty good at [it] last time she played. She seems very talented at most things she does. Let’s see what happens.”

Similarly, Ellyse Perry, who like Barty has also played two different sports professionally, said “there’s a general expectation you’ll play for an extended period of time and go for as long as you possibly can. That’s the norm.

“She genuinely tends to buck the norm a little bit and do what’s best for her, which is just really cool.”

Although, Perry emphasised the importance of Barty following her own path, saying “it sounds like golf is in with a better chance [than cricket]. It’d be really nice for her to be able to do what she wants to do.

“There’s speculation around what sport she’s going to play next or what she’s going to do. Hopefully, she just gets to find that out for herself and do exactly what she’s got planned.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.