Two members of Australia's World Cup-winning women's cricket side have weighed in on the speculation about former tennis World No.1 Ash Barty's potential career switch.
The three-time grand slam winner left the world in shock last month after announcing her sudden retirement from tennis at the age of 25, and while at the very top of the sport.
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Barty created history earlier this year when she became the first local player to win the Australian Open title since Chris O'Neil in 1978.
Having also claimed major titles at Wimbledon and the French Open, plus numerous other WTA trophies and an Olympic bronze medal, Barty revealed that there were other goals she wanted to achieve in the next chapter of her life.
It's sparked a frenzy of debate from fans around the world about that Barty is considering making another sporting switch in an already massively successful career.
Golf and cricket have been mooted as the two most likely sporting professions that Barty could move into, with the 25-year-old having played in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League in 2015–16.
The Queenslander also comes from a golfing family and even met her fiancé Garry Kissick at the Brookwater Golf Club, where she recently won a women's title.
Speaking about Barty's retirement from tennis and speculation she could be considering a career switch, Aussie Women's Cricket World Cup-winning captain Meg Lanning said they'd be silly not to listen to the 25-year-old if she was considering a return to cricket.
“I was surprised. I think we all were,” Lanning said about Barty's retirement.
“You don’t expect someone who’s going so well and dominating to call time. It’s a very brave call.”
Lanning added: “If she wants to come and have another crack at cricket (we) would certainly be interested in talking to her.
“She was pretty good the last time she played. She seems very talented at most things she does. Let’s see what happens.”
Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry, who has also represented Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, says it was “really cool” that Barty went out on her own terms.
“There’s a general expectation you’ll play for an extended period of time and go for as long as you possibly can. That’s the norm,” Perry said.
“She genuinely tends to buck the norm a little bit and do what’s best for her which is just really cool.”
Cricketers concede golf is more likely for Ash Barty
Perry concedes that while it would be exciting to see Barty back in professional cricket, a switch to golf is probably more likely for the Queenslander.
“It sounds like golf is in with a better chance (than cricket),” Perry added.
“It’d be really nice for her to be able to do what she wants to do.
“There’s speculation around what sport she’s going to play next or what she’s going to do. Hopefully, she just gets to find that out for herself and do exactly what she’s got planned.”
Rumours about Barty making the switch to golf only intensified last weekend when she won the ladies competition at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.
Playing off a handicap of 4, Barty finished two shots clear of her nearest rival to claim her first title since retiring from tennis.
While the $30 prize money may not reach the heights of the $31 million she banked during an illustrious tennis career, the win has again raised eyebrows.
Barty earned a staggering $31,920,112 across her tennis career, making her the 14th highest-earning female tennis player in history.
But while the 25-year-old revealed to reporters that a wedding date with her fiancé had been set, she remained coy on what her next professional move entailed.
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