Cricketer Elyse Villani
by Lily Whiting
Recently lured to Hobart by the Tasmanian Tigers, Elyse Villani is a talented new cricket local, bringing strong hope for a win this upcoming WBBL season.
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m from Melbourne but I now live in Hobart.
Why Hobart? My partner was living in Hobart so one reason was to live in the same state, but it was also really important to move to continue to strive for my own work dreams and aspirations. I was really impressed with Cricket Tasmania and the opportunity to join the organisation as a player myself.
Tell us a little about your work? I’m a cricketer for the Tasmanian Tigers and the Hobart Hurricanes and a casual Channel 7 cricket commentator.
How has your approach to cricket changed since balancing life and cricket a little more? When I was dropped from the Australian team about three years ago, that’s when my biggest change in approach happened, rather than this move. That’s when I realised that I had to stop looking for security in high performance sport because it doesn’t exist. I had to stop relying on other people and their opinions to build my confidence in my game. Once I took control of who I wanted to be as a player, stopped comparing myself to others and stopped worrying about all the things I couldn’t control, I started enjoying the sport and the journey more and started playing my best cricket.
Your partner Nicola Carey is playing in both the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian Tigers teams with you. Is there a lot of cricket talk over the dining table? We are each other’s biggest supporter and cricket is a huge part of our lives so there can be a bit of chat about cricket. We do love chatting cricket but we also have plenty of other things we like talking about too!
Why do you think lots of cricket talent are heading to Tassie of late? The investment that the organisation has put into the women’s space over the last few years has been huge. When you have great people leading a program, and an organisation that values individuals as people first and as cricketers second, and who also have the passion, drive and skills to help bring the best out of athletes, word travels and people want to be a part of that.
Being female in a male-dominated sport, how have you seen the game improving to be more inclusive and appealing to young women since your young gun days? Well for starters, we see women playing the game more and we’re visually providing the next generation with a clear pathway in the sport. When I was growing up, I played in my brother’s team and thought I was the only girl playing cricket. I didn’t even know there was an Australian Women’s Cricket Team, which is very sad because those women were incredibly talented and achieved amazing things as individuals and as a team, paving the way for generations under them. I used to feel embarrassed when I admitted to playing cricket on the weekend because I felt like such an outsider. I hope there is no young girl today who feels like that. I hope we are showcasing that cricket really is a sport for all!
What do you love doing outside work? I enjoy taking our dog Nessa down to the beach, trying different restaurants and cafes and chilling on the couch watching the AFL.
As a new Hobart local, what surprised you most? I learnt that it’s actually a pretty dry state! In the past, every time I travelled to Hobart to play against a Tasmanian team, it always seemed to rain. But I can confidently admit the weather has surprised me in a positive way.
Who do you admire? Anyone brave enough to go after their dreams and not let fear get in the way.
Favourite podcast or tv show? The drama series on Netflix, The Blacklist.
Secret vice? I actually really love McDonalds. I know I shouldn’t… but I do!
What are you reading now? Sword of Truth Series.
What gets your goat? People who push in or are pushy, especially when getting off a flight.
What was your first job? Serving at Bakers Delight.
What are your daily news/social media habits? I use the News app on my phone and Instagram, but I put a limit on that per day, you can get lost in it!
Your favourite place for…
Breakfast: Angie Sue, Lauderdale.
Lunch: Kosaten or the sushi train at Rosny Park.
Dinner: Syra, The Glasshouse.
Favourite team? Is this a trick question? The Tigers and Hurricanes…
Favourite Hobart secret? The water views from everywhere in Hobart never get old!
Parting words? Be yourself, everyone else is taken.