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Ellyse Perry predicts Ash Barty is more likely to play golf, but she would like to talk to the former world No. 1 about a return to cricket.
Australia’s World Cup-winning cricketers would welcome Ash Barty’s return to cricket – but only on the terms of the three-time major winner.
Barty rocked the sporting landscape when she announced her retirement from tennis a fortnight ago, hanging up her racquet at the pinnacle of the sport as world No.
Among the surprises was Meg Lanning’s New Zealand side, many of whom played with or against Barty during her time in the Women’s Big Bash League.
“I was surprised. I think we all were,” Lanning told AAP.
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“You wouldn’t expect someone who is so good and dominant to call time. It’s a very brave call.”
Barty spent a season with the Brisbane Heat while on a sabbatical from tennis as a teenager, when she struggled to cope with the relentless demands of life on tour.
Her best shot of 39 came against Lanning’s Melbourne Stars, when she was knocked down by England’s Nat Sciver – two fighters in Sunday’s World Cup final in Christchurch.
Lanning said she admired Barty’s approach then and now.
“If she wants to come and play cricket another time (we) would definitely be interested in talking to her,” she said.
“She was pretty good the last time she played. She seems very good at most things she does. Let’s see what happens.”
Showing off her unique skills, golfer Barty won the women’s competition at her home club Brookwater, near Ipswich, last weekend, playing on a handicap of five.
Ellyse Perry, who like Barty competed in two sports at an elite level, praised Barty’s ability to compete on her own terms, marching to the beat of her own drum.
“You’re generally expected to play for a long time and for as long as possible. That’s the norm,” she said.
“She really tends to go a bit against the norm and do what’s best for her, which is really cool.”
Perry said it’s very important that Barty continues to follow her own path if she chooses to return to a career in competitive sport.
“It looks like golf has a better chance (than cricket),” she said.
“It would be really nice for her to be able to do what she wants to do.
“There’s speculation about what sport she’s going to do next or what she’s going to do. Hopefully she can figure it out on her own and do exactly what she has planned.”