Lendlease Breakers fast bowler Belinda Vakawera has spoken of her excitement at the prospect of making her one day international debut for the Southern Stars in the forthcoming ICC Women's World Cup that will be held in England and Wales.
The 19-year-old, who had a stellar season for both the Lendlease Breakers in the Women's National Cricket League and the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL, was over the moon with the news.
"It's definitely an unbelievable experience to just be selected in the squad and be going over to England to play in the World Cup with such a great team is fantastic. Obviously it helped by representing the Shooting Stars over in Sri Lanka and that opened a few doors back here meaning I got to trial for a position on the team"
It is Vakawera's first national selection after previously representing the Governor General's XI last year against South Africa as well as the Shooting Stars tour of Sri Lanka.
Vakawera said she has been helped by the older players in the squad who have passed on some valuable experience to the teenager.
"There are a lot of big names but to have someone like Sarah Aley who I've watched since I was a little kid and has been one of my biggest inspirations on the field is incredible. She has helped me along as have a lot of the other girls in the squad who have been very friendly.
Vakawera and the rest of the Southern Stars squad are in the midst of a training camp on the Sunshine Coast and will depart for England on the 10 June. She is one of seven NSW players to make the squad showcasing the talent of women cricket players in the state.
Vakawera played a large majority of matches for the Lendlease Breakers this season including performing a vital role in a Breakers' victory during her debut match by collecting figures of 1-11 from six overs with the ball and then backing it up with the bat coming in at number 11 to get the Breakers over the line.
The Southern Stars have recorded six World Cup triumphs in the 10 tournaments to date which is the most by any nation.
Vakawera said she was honoured to be following in the footsteps of past Australian greats.
"It is fantastic to be a part of such a successful unit. We also have a function where we get to meet those players who had success. It will be awesome to learn from them and listen to what they have to say."
As a warm up for the World Cup, the Southern Stars have been involved in a series of intra-sqaud matches against each other at their Maroochydore base.
Australia starts its World Cup defence against the West Indies at Taunton on 26 June.