Amanda-Jade Wellington praises her time in Birmingham


Written by Emily Collin

For a professional cricketer to describe a tour where they haven’t played a match as ‘one of the best’ – it’s abundantly clear something out-of-the-ordinary has occurred. 

Amanda-Jade Wellington is unlikely to feature in the Australian XI as they gun for Commonwealth Games gold, but is adamant her time in Birmingham has been one of – if not the best tour she’s ever been on.

Leg-spinner Wellington, a colourful character with a fresh perspective on life and cricket, as well as penchant for collecting, has spent her time in Birmingham lapping up everything that life at the Commonwealth Games has to offer.

The 25-year-old, who burst onto the international cricket scene as a precociously talented teenager before spending four years away from the Australian setup, returned to the fold ahead of this year’s ODI World Cup with a newfound maturity and a motto which she continues to live by.

If I play, I play. If I don’t, I’m always gonna make memories.




She’s had dinner with Anna Meares, chats with Peter Bol and made mates from Lesotho, but there’s one element of the Games that’s captured her imagination like no other: pin collecting.

It’s a tradition at multi-sport events, with athletes given a set of pins unique to the country they are representing which they can then trade with athletes from other nations.

Wellington, admitting with a laugh that she’s been a ‘stinge’ around her fellow Australian teammates, immediately set out to acquire as many Australian pins as she could to then use as currency to build up her collection of pins from other nations.

With her collection currently sitting at 52 pins out of a possible 72, it’s been a remarkably successful and enjoyable venture for Wellington, but the South Australian is desperate to complete the set and has even recruited Australian cycling Anna Meares to aid her mission.

“I had dinner last night with Anna Meares and I was telling her about the pins and how I’ve enjoyed the whole experience,” Wellington said.

“I was saying to her that I’ve got somewhere between 40 to 50 pins but I’m trying to I’m trying to get whole lot like I want the collection.

“So she was like, ‘I can help you when I’m at the main village…’ And soon enough this morning, I got a text from Anna saying, ‘I got this pin from Jersey you can tick off your list.'”

There’s no doubt Wellington would love to be playing an on-field role as Australia hunt down an historic gold medal.

But true to the ‘team-first’ mentality that permeates the Australian team, 25-year-old Wellington is nothing but accepting of the situation and is thrilled to witness and be a part of the success in Birmingham.

“I think a few years ago if this was me, I’d probably throw my toys out of the cot and I’d probably be like, ‘Why am I not playing?'” Wellington said.

“I probably would’ve spoken to my Mum or my partner and been like, ‘I’m not playing what is this?'”

“But now I think it’s just game of cricket you know? I know it’s what they’re doing best for the team and the girls are absolutely smashing it at the moment.

“It’s so awesome to see especially someone like (fellow leg-spinner) Alana King coming into the group in performing so well, I couldn’t be happier for her.

“Just being in this environment once again is making me really happy.”

Wellington’s appreciation of the truly diverse, multi-sport event is palpable. At every opportunity, the South Australian is strolling through the streets of Birmingham from the cricket hotel, to the lively bustle of the main Athlete’s Village at the University of Birmingham where she’ll strike up conversations with athletes, officials and volunteers alike.

“To be here is pretty incredible,” Wellington said.

“I’ve gone out of my way to experience this because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“I’ve met Peter Bol, Cody Simpson, Emma McKeon, so many people like it’s unbelievable.

“Even on our days off, I’ve gone over the main village and just sat at the athletic track to just watch people train.

“It’s unbelievable how people go about their training. It’s so different to cricket, and they’re so precise with what they do, and it’s just so fascinating to watch.”

With fifteen or so pins to collect, you’d give Wellington a fair chance of departing Birmingham with the full gamut from the Commonwealth nations.

An even surer bet, Wellington will join up with her Southern Brave teammates ahead of The Hundred with a lifetime of memories, and an infectious desire to make even more.



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