Eighteen-year-old Ellie Falconer will ply her trade in the Women’s National Cricket League this season, having been promoted from the under 18s program.
The right-arm, fast-pace bowler from Clare is one of four rookies to make the South Australian Scorpions squad of 16 for the upcoming 2017-18 one-day season.
Ellie impressed for the South Australian under 18 state side last season, playing eight matches and picking up three wickets from a total of 38 overs across the National Championships.
Her form was also impressive in the SACA Women’s First Grade, finishing with seven wickets and seven maidens for West Torrens District Cricket Club.
To cap off a brilliant season, she was named in the first ever SACA Women’s Team of the Year alongside four of her fellow Scorpions teammates.
But despite her strong year, her selection on the senior list came as a surprise for Ellie.
“It was a total surprise, I did not think at all (that she would be called up),” Ellie said.
At the end of the season she was called in to have a meeting with coach Andrea McCauley but was not given any indication that she would be receiving a call up.
But then an email appeared in her inbox.
“I kind of just looked at it and then looked at it again,” she said.
“I called mum over to look at it and it was just crazy.”
Ellie got her first taste of the big time last summer when she undertook a two week League Pathway Placement program with the Adelaide Strikers in the Women’s Big Bash League.
She now stands a chance to play on the hallowed turf of Adelaide Oval.
Scorpions head coach Andrea McCauley said the promotion of Ellie alongside fellow academy graduates Eliza Doddridge and Annie O’Neil was a testament to the talent being produced in South Australia and the strength of women’s cricket in the state.
“Eliza, Ellen and Annie are all graduates of our Under 18’s program, and Tabatha was involved with the Strikers last season, so it’s fantastic to be able to give these girls an opportunity,” she said.
“It’s great to see the cricket pathway for women and girls producing such exciting young players here in SA, and we’re looking forward to having them involved with the squad this year.”
Ellie is currently juggling cricket with her year 12 studies, travelling down to Adelaide once a week for training and completing the rest of her sessions in Clare.