It’s all good, says Goodall



Published Mar 13, 2024


LARA Goodall has gone from a bubbly, always-a-smile-on-her-face top-order batter to a seemingly timid, shadow of herself this season.

Known for her power game and an attacking approach with bat-in-hand, this season she has barely scored any runs. Her highest-score is a 36 in her last 10 matches in the green and gold.

As one of the few remaining senior players in the Proteas women side - a side that had recently saw Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk and Shabnim Ismail retire in quick succession - Goodall's lack of good form with the bat has been concern.

However, coach Hilton Moreeng showed faith in Goodall and played her despite her dismal form. Eventually, Moreeng made the tough call, and dropped the 27-year-old batter from the squad that toured Australia earlier this year.

“I lost the love a little bit with the game,” Goodall told Independent Newspapers, in an exclusive interview. “I wasn’t myself being away (from home) all the time.”

Clearly something was not right when the left-handed batter walked in to bat, only to walk back into the pavilion with very few runs under her belt. Having had a couple of months to reflect, Goodall points at off-field factors as to have contributed to her poor run of form.

“As a professional sportsperson in general it’s not always going to go your way, I don’t think so. Cricket is a funny game - you actually have more downs than ups - so you need to learn how to deal with the downs.

“It’s happened to me before. I went back to kind of reset, do things that I love that wasn’t cricket and just cut my mind off cricket completely.

“I had a lot going on in my mind at the time. It was just a difficult period for me off the field and I think that impacted my performances on it. I’m not using that as an excuse but it’s the actual truth.

“I wasn’t really dealing with things that I needed to deal with. Now I’ve had to hit it dead on and sort it out.

“I went to be the person that I was without cricket for a little bit and that put me in a good stead for the weeks to come. Now I’m back training, working hard and looking forward to the next series.”

In the last 10 matches that Lara Goodall has played for the proteas, her highest score has been 36. | Backpagepix

Having missed the multi-format Tour of Australia earlier this year, Goodall hopes to be involved in the upcoming inbound tour of Sri Lanka, which starts in two weeks time to the day. The tour will see the two sides play three T20Is and three ODIs to bring an end to the 2023/24 home international summer of cricket.

Goodall says she has been in communication with coach Moreeng about what she needs to do to get back in the team.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with (Moreeng), so we are always in communication. I know exactly what he needs from me. I know what I need to do and I’ve been doing it from the beginning of January.

“I’m back to my consistent, happy and healthy self. If you’re feeling yourself then everything else falls into place.

“There’s not a lot of pressure on me at the minute. I think I just need to stick to being myself and it will reflect on the field.

“I think I needed the reset and that reset came at a perfect time. I feel ready for the near future which is in the next few weeks.”

The first match of Sri Lanka Women’s inbound tour will get underway on March 27 in Benoni and concludes in Potchefstroom on April 14.

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