Reakes set to go
THIS cricketing summer may already have been painful for the Poms, but Angela Reakes is plotting to add to their misery.
The Knockrow leg spinner will line-up for the national Shooting Stars team against the England women's side in Perth next Monday.
Some of Australia's best young players are in the Australia A squad for the two-day warm-up match, which will help prepare the English for the forthcoming Ashes series.
Reakes said she was hoping to give her opponents from the Old Dart plenty to think about.
"It will be good to soften them up," she said with a laugh.
"We are looking forward to showing them that our second string team is raring to go as well."
The Floreat Oval contest will be just the start of busy 2014 for Reakes.
She is also getting ready for her Lend Lease Breakers' side's three clashes with Western Fury in Perth.
The teams will play a 50-over Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) and two W20 encounters, with the matches starting tomorrow.
Reakes has played a key role helping her state side to the top of both the national 50-over and Twenty20 divisions this season.
Last time out she took 2-22 from six overs to help her side thrash the South Australia Scorpions by eight wickets in their WNCL clash.
The right-hander is also reaping the benefits of a winter spent improving her legbreak googly style.
"I had a pretty hard pre-season working on my technique," she said.
"I was trying to improve my action; increasing my consistency and variations.
"The Twenty20 game is more of a batter's game, so I've been working on my slower ball and things like that to try and stay one step ahead."
Reakes will also be aiming to help her Sydney first grade side improve its fortunes.
The city side is fifth on the ladder and facing an uphill bid for a finals berth after an inconsistent first half of the year.
In contrast to her male compatriots, Reakes jugg
les cricket with a job as an exercise rehabilitation officer.
As if that isn't enough, she is also under taking a three-year university Masters course in Exercise Science.
"It's quite difficult hand
ling everything," she said.
"With the increasing money paid into cricket now, the expectations for what we give back to the sport are quite demanding as well. It can be tough, but my cricket is going fantastic at the moment."