Beams almost retired after injury
Kristen Beams thought long and hard about retirement before committing to return to cricket after a serious Achilles injury that sidelined her for most of the year.
The veteran leg-spinner and Melbourne Stars captain needed surgery after she ruptured her right Achilles tendon while batting for local club Essendon Maribyrnong Park late last season.
She then lost her Cricket Australia contract and weighed up whether it was worth getting back.
“I had lots of different thoughts across the injury,” Beams said.
“Im 34. I didnt want to come back and play poor cricket. I thought I only wanted to come back if I can do a job for the team.
“There were certainly times when I wondered whether it might be better off to retire.”
Even when she decided she wanted to return, doubts still lingered for Beams ahead of her comeback games against the Perth Scorchers on the weekend.
“I said to Hempy [Stars coach David Hemp] before the weekend that I want to make sure Im selected [on merit]. I dont just want to be a certain starter in this team if I cant do a job and I cant move the way that I need to move. [I said to him] Im certainly not going to take it personally if you think I cant do a job for the team.”
It was soon apparent that there was still some quality cricket left in Beams. After an underwhelming showing against the Scorchers at Casey Fields on Saturday, she took 3-13 against the same opposition on Sunday to help the Stars to a third win in five games.
“I was never going to be 100 per cent. Im nine months into a 12-month injury. But its nice to be back, and also to say to myself that I can keep doing to this. Im still not playing my best cricket I dont think, but I hope thats not far away either.”
Beams has played for her country in all three formats of the game, including as recently as late last year, but with younger spinners like Georgia Wareham having emerged, the veteran acknowledged it was unlikely she would play for Australia again.
Instead she will channel her efforts into ensuring the Stars make the finals for the first time, with their campaign continuing against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday.
“I dont feel like Ive got something to prove in that respect. Im not trying to prove the selectors wrong.
“I feel so blessed to be the captain of the Melbourne Stars.
“I think the ship has sailed [from a national perspective]. Theyve got some wonderful talent in that team. Thered be no reason for them to come back to a player like me. I totally get that, and thats how the game has evolved. For me its just about playing cricket and enjoying the back end [of my career].”
Daniel is an Age sports reporter.
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