Photo Credit: Adelaide Strikers
It was a massive WBBL|08 season for Katie Mack – who juggled working at the ICC T20 World Cup, her role as a physiotherapist and unknowingly playing in her maiden cricket Championship with a broken hand – and she’s back to do it all again after signing a contract extension to remain at the Adelaide Strikers.
Mack has been an integral part of the Strikers side since she joined the club ahead of WBBL|05, making 1170 runs in 63 matches and she will continue at the top of the Strikers order until at least the end of 2025.
It was a whirlwind few months for Mack during WBBL|08, who relocates to Adelaide from her hometown of Canberra yearly for the tournament.
As part of a placement through the Australian Cricketers Association, Mack was assisting an event specialist during the ICC T20 World Cup held in Australia at the same time as WBBL.
“It was a pretty unique experience and it was a bit of a juggle but luckily most of the organisation was done beforehand, so I’d been working with them for a couple of months before WBBL and had organised things like radios and different schedules,” Mack said.
“Once WBBL started it was more about trying to experience some of the games and I was lucky enough to stay a couple of days in Brisbane after we played and got to the semi-final in Adelaide, which was really cool.
“The best thing about it for me was being able to see the other side of cricket and how much work goes in behind closed doors – I got a lot of appreciation for the hours they put in and all the things that need to come together to get us on the park.”
Each WBBL season, Mack’s physiotherapy role in Canberra has to take a back seat, but that doesn’t stop her learning and working as she spends those months catching up on her professional development and doing some online coursework.
Her physio knowledge and experience came in handy at the back end of the season, when she ended up hurting her hand and unknowingly playing with it broken for the final four matches of the season – including the final.
“I think what physio helps me with best is to stay on the pitch even if I have a few little injuries because I’m able to sort of understand how I’m feeling, I understand the body mechanics and the injury I have and it allows me to make that judgment call a lot easier than some other players,” Mack said.
“Understanding allows me to make that decision which I value hugely as the thing I hate most is missing playing.
“I ended up breaking my hand in our last minor round game against Brisbane, but I didn’t know it was broken so kept playing and while there’s probably a few times where I probably shouldn’t have, it is nice to have a bit of knowledge where I can push that.”
Mack did have her hand x-rayed after the Big Bash season, but the break didn’t show. She continued to play WNCL for ACT and it wasn’t until she did an MRI that a break was confirmed and she had surgery in February.
Playing through the pain was worth it however, when the Strikers won their maiden WBBL title in November and Mack got to hold up a trophy for the first time in her professional cricket career.
“It was such a good feeling to win – I’ve never won a major tournament in my professional career, I don’t even have a minor one so it was pretty amazing to win,” she said.
“I think the best time is straight off the game in the change rooms when you’ve got family and friends and it’s really fresh and everyone’s so excited and happy.”
The celebrations continued after leaving North Sydney Oval and she even pushed out her return to Canberra, but five days of partying was the perfect amount for Mack before she went home.
Now, she is excited to have extended her contract as the Strikers aim to defend their title.
“I love Adelaide as a place, it’s a lot like Canberra but with a beach,” Mack said.
“The Strikers have always been a group of really good, fun, nice, easy going people and it’s always really enjoyable being there and playing with them.
“I’m eager to try go back-to-back with the girls, it looks like we have a pretty similar team and I think we didn’t actually play our best cricket last year.
“I’m excited to try and bring the whole game this year and try and string the batting, bowling and fielding all together and I think we’ll be unstoppable if we do.”
Tickets are on sale for WBBL|09, so don’t miss your chance to watch Mack and the reigning Champions in action. Secure your seat here.