10 Days After A Broken Jaw, Beth Mooney Wants To Terminate England's Ashes Hopes

Incredibly, the Aussie star is playing in the Ashes with three metal plates in her jaw
14:55, 26 Jan 2022

Australia’s cricket culture has long been built on being hard and they don’t come much tougher than Beth Mooney. 

The Aussie batter is expected to slot into the middle order for the solitary Ashes Test against England, which begins tonight, just nine days after undergoing surgery on a fractured jaw on the first official day of the tour in Adelaide.

Victorian left-hander Mooney has three metal plates in her face, wire in her bottom teeth and is confined to eating through a straw after the nasty injury. 

But the 28-year-old can’t wait to get back on the field in Canberra after she first feared the painful blow would end her hopes of playing any part of the Ashes or the upcoming ODI World Cup in New Zealand. 

Mooney looked untroubled as she faced the Aussie quicks yesterday and she lined up in the slip cordon during the hosts’ fielding drills on the eve of the red-ball clash, which will likely define the course of the series. 

“We did a 3D CT scan on my skull there were two clear breaks straight down my chin, and then where the ball side the side of my face there was another clear break there too,” reflected Mooney. 

“I have two plates in my chin and one near my ear and a few screws. I don’t think you can speed up a broken bone, it’s going to be broken for five more weeks. It’s certainly a lot more comfortable now than it was a week or so ago.” 

Mooney has been hailed as an “inspiration” by captain Meg Lanning ahead of her return for the one-off Test. And Australia will be bidding to retain the sacred urn with victory in the four-day encounter. 

Skipper Lanning said: “She said she’s able to eat unlimited ice cream so she’s pretty happy with that! Otherwise it’s soups, milkshakes and a few thickshakes.

“It’s pretty incredible. To be coming back to play international cricket around a week after having jaw surgery is pretty inspirational for the group.”

Aussie star all-rounder Elyse Perry will be unleashed for her first game of the series after being dropped for the T20 leg of the multi-format tour. And the pitch will decide how many fast bowlers Lanning will let loose on the English. 

Heather Knight’s side need to avoid defeat to have any hopes of reclaiming the Ashes for the first time since the 2013/14 tour Down Under. 

The tourists trail 4-2 after two washouts meant only one of three T20Is were played. Fours points are on offer for the only Test and three ODIs will follow with two points apiece up for grabs. 

Meanwhile, England seamer Kate Cross believes women’s Test matches should change to the traditional five days played in the men’s game to ensure more results.

The last four women’s Tests have been drawn with an astonishing 62 of the 94 games England have played since 1934 ending in draws. Australia have competed in 45 stalemates from their 75 matches. 

Cross stressed: ”I think we're ready for five days of cricket now, I think historically that was around tour lengths and women apparently weren't fit enough to be able to manage five days but I think we're ready for that now.

"I think that would help with those draws that we keep getting. I think if you play five days of cricket you're probably going to get more results out of women's Test matches so maybe that would be something we could look into moving forward.”

Women’s Ashes schedule (Australia lead 4-2):

1st T20I (Adelaide): Australia won by nine wickets (two points)

2nd T20I (Adelaide): Match abandoned (one point each)

3rd T20I (Adelaide): Match abandoned (one point each)

Only Test (Canberra): Jan 26-29 (four points)

1st ODI (Canberra): Feb 3 (two points)

2nd ODI (Melbourne): Feb 5 (two points)

3rd ODI (Melbourne): Feb 7 (two points)

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