Alana King: An Anglo-Indian with Chennai roots becomes Australia’s new spin hope
For 26-year-old Alana King, it was a day to rejoice as she made her international debut for Australia Women in their opening T20I against England Women at the Adelaide Oval. The leg-spinner got the national call-up for the white-ball games after she punched above her weight in the 2021-22 edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
The leg-spinner picked up 16 wickets from 13 games in the WBBL and was the joint-highest wicket-taker for Perth Scorchers along with Heather Graham and Lilly Mills. King hardly gave the batters much to work with as she bowled at an incredible economy rate of 5.82. The national selectors found it tough to overlook her and rewarded her with the highest honour.
The tweaker edged out fellow leggie Amanda Jade Wellington on her way to the national squad. It’s pertinent to note that Wellington was the leading wicket-taker in the previous WBBL edition, having picked up 22 wickets from 16 games. On Thursday, January 20, King had a broad smile on her face as she got her maiden international cap.
Here is the video of Alana King getting her maiden Australia Cap
Not quite sure who started it, but cap presentation ceremonies are among the few beautiful things in cricket. pic.twitter.com/NxIdZNItYd
— Sa. Gomesh | ச. கோமேஷ் (@theumpires_call) January 20, 2022
King didn’t disappoint one bit in the game as she ended with impressive figures of 4-0-28-1 on a decent batting strip. She got the prized wicket of Tammy Beaumont, who was batting on 30 with England’s score at 82 for one in 10.1 overs. The Aussies went on to win the game by nine wickets with three overs left after Tahlia McGrath’s unbeaten 91.
Interestingly, King is of Anglo-Indian descent as her father, Leroy King, emigrated from Melbourne to Chennai in 1984. Back in their early days in Melbourne, King’s father had to go behind the bars for a case of mistaken identity. Back in 2019, King also talked abut the racial discrimination she had to go through due to “different skin colour”.
As far as her cricketing career is concerned, she will now get to rub shoulders with Jess Jonassen, Australia’s primary weapon in the spin-department. Having already played alongside the likes of Beth Mooney, Chamari Athapaththu and Sophie Devine, King has already gained a fair amount of experience while playing top-level cricket.