Grace Lyons has just turned 17, but she’s already making an impact on the cricket field.
So great that there’s already talk of her one day playing for Australia.
This season, as a 16 year old, Grace was called into the Meteors squad, and although she is yet to make her debut, she is pushing for a place in the team.
In September, she was the only ACT player in the Lanning v Perry under 19s T20 three-match series in Brisbane.
The series provided insight into what is required to go to another level.
“I was excited just to see how the other players prepare and train,” says Grace. “It was great to be part of it.”
The Year 11 St Mary MacKillop College student will play for the ACT in the under-19 Championships in Perth in December. After the Championships, the Australian team for the inaugural ICC under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa will be named.
For someone so young, this could be daunting.
But former Australian player Erin Osborne, who is now Cricket ACT’s elite pathways lead, says Grace is a special player.
“She’s extremely skilful. She only took up wicketkeeping a few years ago, but she has lightning hands,” says Erin.
“She bats at the top of the order and isn’t afraid to take the game on. She has great game awareness.”
And Grace is aiming for the top. Her goal is to play for Australia.
Erin is well qualified to judge, having played 121 internationals for Australia.
“Grace has the talent to play for Australia. She definitively has the skill to do so. We also need to remember that she has only just turned 17 and this is her first season in a high-performance environment.”
Grace is also fine-tuning her skills playing in the Weston Creek Molonglo men’s third-grade side.
“It’s very different. It’s a good challenge and very competitive.”
With cricket potentially becoming all-consuming, Grace says she has worked hard to combine sport with study, even though there is time away at training camps and championships.
She’s lucky, saying, “the school has been really good about it”.
As to her favourite Australian player, no surprises there: “I look up to Australian wicketkeeper Alisa Healy”.
As she continues her upward trajectory, there is every possibility that in the future, other young wicketkeepers will be looking up to Grace Lyons.