Beth Mooney says her mind is firmly focused on the Brisbane Heat’s Rebel WBBL title defence, as she refuses to let thoughts of the upcoming T20 World Cup stray into her mind – just yet.
Mooney is sitting on top of the Rebel WBBL|05 runs table three weekends into the first standalone edition of the domestic T20 tournament.
She’s struck 346 runs at 86.50 from six innings, including four half-centuries, with those runs coming at an impressive strike rate of 126.27.
Those numbers include her season-best 77 not out against the Adelaide Strikers at Mackay’s Harrup Park on Sunday, which led her team to victory.
Her numbers – and consistency in the most fickle format – will no doubt be pleasing for the Australian brains trust, with the T20 World Cup to begin on home soil on February 21.
But Mooney, who opens for Australia in the 20-over format alongside Alyssa Healy, says while this Big Bash is the perfect preparation for the tournament, she has more immediate concerns.
"The Big Bash is perfect preparation for (the World Cup)," Mooney said on Sunday.
"There’s a lot of people gunning for 15 spots (in the Australian squad) so there’s no point lying or hiding around that, everyone wants to be there, especially on home soil.
"We’ve got a game plan we like to play (at the Heat) and I’ve been fortunate to go out and do that the last few games.
"Hopefully I can carry that forward, win some more games for the Brisbane Heat and then focus on the World Cup at the back end of the summer."
Also pleasing for Australia coach Matthew Mott and his support staff will be the performances of Sydney Sixers stars Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry, who set a new partnership record in their 0-199 against the Melbourne Stars on Sunday.
Perry is second behind Mooney on the runs table with 279 at 139.50, while Healy has struck 199 at 49.75 – although 106 of those came from her third WBBL century on Sunday.
The next highest Australian-contracted players on the runs table are Stars skipper Elyse Villani (149 at 24.83) and Scorchers captain Meg Lanning (146 at 36.50), with the latter’s sole half-century from five innings to date coming against the Brisbane Heat, while she also struck a stunning 44no from 24 to lead the Scorchers to victory against the Renegades last Friday night.
"I feel like I’m hitting the ball well, I just haven’t been able to get through the first period in a couple of innings," Lanning said following Friday’s knock.
"I wasn’t too concerned, but I think the fact we needed to chase 10 (an over) today probably helped; I didn’t really have a choice about how I was going to play."
This WBBL|05 tournament is also a chance for the biggest names in world cricket to adjust to Australian conditions ahead of next year’s tournament and currently, South Africa’s Lizelle Lee (239 at 47.80 for the Stars), New Zealand’s Sophie Devine (192 at 49.75 for the Strikers) and England captain Heather Knight (183 at 45.75 for the Hurricanes) are leading the way in that department.