Magnificent Mel thrived on achieving goals
TODAY'S focus on a past sporting great features Melissa "Mel'' Davies (nee Bulow).
Cricket achievements: Inaugural inductee into the Queensland Women's Hall of Fame, 122 one day games for Queensland (most by a women's cricketer), all-time leading run scorer for Qld, 23 matches for Australia (two Tests and 21 ODI's), first female to score a T20 hundred (v Tasmania in 2011) and member of the Queensland Fire team that won the Women's T20 competition in 2014.
Why you got into cricket: I come from a cricket mad family. My brothers Brad and Aaron played and my dad was also a coach. I remember their U12 club team Norths was short one day and I filled in. The rest is history.
Favourite teammate: Kirsten Pike was my best mate throughout my cricket career and ended up being my bridesmaid for my wedding.
Favourite coach: Katherine Raymont was my long-term coach at Wests from the age of 13 until I retired at 33. She was there for the highs and lows (of which their were plenty) and has been a key pillar in the growth of the women's game in the region. I should also mention that my dad (Don Bulow), mostly for giving me the honest feedback I didn't necessarily want to hear but needed it.
Favourite innings: It would have to be my T20 hundred v Tasmania at AB Field (October, 2011). I hit a six off the last ball to bring it up. It was one of those rare innings where everything went to plan.
What did you love about the sport: Being about to achieve a common hard fought goal with your teammates. Since retiring I really miss the dressing room and mateship.
Any superstitions: Not so much superstitions but I was very regimented with my routine - from the breakfast cereal I ate to my warm-up. I also used to like facing the first ball as an opening batter.
Cricket hero growing up: Belinda Clark was a role model of mine. She was the Australian captain for a number of years and widely regarded as the best women's cricketer to have played the game. When I was growing up I always had three cricketing goals: 1. To play for Australia; 2. To open the batting with Belinda Clark; and 3. win a title with Queensland. I was lucky enough to cross the first two off in my debut game for Australia. I also admired Matt Hayden and tried to model the presence he had at the crease.
Do you follow it today and what are your thoughts: Sure do. It's wonderful to see how far the women's game has come. I remember winning a Tiffany vacuum cleaner as a player of the match award in my first season at national league level - and now to see how far the game has progressed and the recognition the women are quite rightly receiving is fantastic.
What are you up to these days: I'm mum to two kids under three so it's fair to say my hands are full. I'm also running a RTO (Binnacle Training) with my brother Aaron which is also very rewarding.
HEROES: 1. The NRL. A date was set a while ago for recommencement and many hurdles have been put in front of this date to delay it, but Peter V'Landys has stuck solid and jumped each one. Lets hope he doesn't have to jump anymore.
2. Ben Simmons. He was going to miss a huge chunk of the NBA season but the enforced break has given him time to recover and should be firing on all cylinders when the season resumes.
3. Mick Malthouse. He has urged the AFL to abandon taking the Port Adelaide/St Kilda match to Shanghai. I am sure the Australian Government has exactly the same view.
Villains: 1. Albury Council. An NRL team is coming to town and you deny them use of one of the council rugby league fields. Lucky the Albury Tigers AFL has a heart and have allowed them to train there. The council had a chance to build some goodwill but that has evaporated.
2. Kane Cornes. How dare you suggest that Alex Jesaulenko's awesome mark in the 1970 grand final was overrated. The mark was brilliant and I can't see why you would have to bring it up now.
3. Shane Warne. He has called for weighted balls to allow the bowler to generate swing. How about they roll their sleeves up and do the hard work like a batsman has to do.
Sporting birthdays: 1. 1932 - Sonny Liston (American heavyweight boxing champion).
2. 1970 - Michael Bevan (Australian left-handed cricketer).
On this day: 1. 1982 - Gillies Villeneuve, a Canadian Auto GP champion, is killed in a car accident as he prepared for the Belgian GP. He was 32.
2. 1984 - The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics in retaliation of the USA boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
3. 1989 - Paul McCartney releases remake of "Ferry Across The Mersey" in aid of those affected by the Hillsborough disaster that claimed 96 Liverpool soccer fans.
4. 2011 - Lionel Rose the first Indigenous Australian to win a world boxing title dies aged 62.
5. 2013 - Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retirement as Manchester United coach at seasons end.