A new baseline for sports: Jodie Fields, former Captain of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team

Jodie Fields discusses the vital role of volunteers and how training and upskilling gives them the opportunity to better govern their local community clubs.

Jodie Fields captained the Australian Women’s Cricket Team to two world cup titles — the 2012 ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup and the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup. The 2012 win came after an epic return from serious injury that the doctors had said would end her cricket career. Since retiring from international cricket in 2014 as one of the most successful Australian cricket captains of all time, Ms Fields has become an influential voice in cricket and in women’s sport in general, as she continues her career as a coach, mentor, administrator, director and advocate.  

‘I have been very fortunate to be involved in sport in numerous ways. Firstly as a player at local, state and international levels. As a sports administrator for Queensland Cricket, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association. And as a coach, a selector, a volunteer and a commentator for other organisations. I have experienced some of the greatest highs that sports can provide like captaining a world cup winning team. And some of the devastating lows including career threatening injuries.’ 

Born into a family of five, Ms Fields and her twin sister inherited their father’s passion for sports. From an early age it was clear that Ms Fields had a natural talent that foretold her pathway to elite sport. ‘There are a couple of pictures of me when I was about three or four with a little Kanga cricket bat and a tennis racket in my hand. From the outset my parents instilled in us the importance of three things and the value of excelling in them — education, sport and extracurricular activities like music. At primary school, sport was where I really felt I could be my best self. When I first stepped over the white line I felt confident and purposeful. Whether with a racquet or a cricket bat in my hand or on the basketball or volleyball court. I used to run the cross country at school and compete in the swimming trials when no one else would do it. So whenever there was an opportunity to be involved in sport I was there, first in line, ready to give it my best shot.’ 

She and her twin sister played tennis at school and had ambitions of being the next Woodies but as they reached high school her sister decided to focus on her education and has gone on to excel in her own chosen profession. At a crossroads Ms Fields had to choose which sport to go forward with now that her tennis partner would not be along for the journey. At the time she was performing really well with cricket and the choice was made. Ms Fields got her first state jersey at 16 for the Queensland Fire, the Queensland women’s state team. And did not look back from there. 

Growing up in Toowoomba, for her to play competitive cricket at the time she had to play with the boys’ teams. ‘If I look back and think about the mentors that set me on this journey my Grade 3 teacher and parents were those people. I remember watching the boys’ cricket team playing a match and wishing I could play with them. My Grade 3 teacher was the coach of the side. One day I plucked up the courage to ask him. That was my moment. He said yes. If he had not let me play I don’t think I would have ended up playing cricket at the level at which I played.’ Ms Fields’ cricket future started from there. The local boys’ cricket competition in Toowoomba. Coming into high school she continued to play cricket with the senior men’s side in Toowoomba because there still wasn’t a women’s team there. At 14 Ms Fields began travelling to Brisbane to play and train with Western Suburbs District Cricket Club. The rest as they say is history.

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