Katie Mack never thought she'd be the type of person to lead the ACT Meteors. But things have changed a bit entering her ninth season with the team.
"If you asked me three years ago if I wanted leadership I would have said no. I was never prepared for it, I think I was just more focused on what I was doing," Mack said upon being named Meteors captain for the 2022/23 Women's National Cricket League season.
"That's just the evolution of a career - you get to a point where it becomes less important what you do and you become more invested in a team and I've sort of hit that spot where I have more to give back.
"So it will be nice to do that in an official capacity."
The Meteors will turn to Mack after the departure of former captain Ange Reakes who is taking a break from playing commitments while expecting her first child in August.
Mack adds a wealth of experience to the team, having joined the ACT Meteors in the 2013/2014 season, with 58 WNCL games to her name. She has also scored more than 2000 career runs since making her domestic debut in 2011/12 for the NSW Breakers.
"I just want to lead by example," Mack said.
"The biggest thing for me is making sure I am doing everything I can, so if I'm doing it, the expectation is the team is. But hopefully I'll create a fun, competitive, and hardworking environment."
Previous captains have left quite the shoes to fill for Mack but she thinks they have been the inspiration she needs to succeed in the role.
"Our captains in the past with Kris Britt, Erin Osborne and then Ange Reakes, they've all been very different in how they've led. But I think you take little parts of each person and that develops you as a player and a person," Mack said.
"I like to think I have some of their style in what I do but it will be nice to have Ange alongside me to help me with that communication and empathy side of things that I tend to not be as good at."
Mack has demonstrated her commitment by signing a new three-year deal which will see her remain in Canberra until the end of the 2025/26 season.
After coming close in previous years, the ACT Meteors are looking to crack the top two in the upcoming season which will now feature a full home and away fixture, increasing from eight matches to 12.
"It is pretty important to get into the top two. Hopefully this year with a couple more games it will be less imperative if we do lose one or two games," Mack said.
"We've been building for the last couple of years and we have a squad that ticks off all the boxes we need so it will be an interesting year.
"Having 12 games is going to be awesome. It'll be really nice to get a few more girls into the games and have the capacity to be a bit more flexible which we haven't had in the past.
"It's going in the right direction. I am keen for even more games, but I'll take 12."
The Meteors will also welcome fast-bowler Holly Ferling on a two-year contract and Mack is excited about the addition.
"I can't wait for her to be here," Mack said.
"We didn't have anyone with international experience now that Oz [Erin Osborne] has retired that's what Holly brings. She's still quite young but has so much experience in different teams, different roles, and playing for Australia."
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