How the Broncos kick-started indoor cricketer's stellar career
INDOOR CRICKET: Ash Doble is a mad-keen North Queensland Cowboys fan but in a roundabout way it's the Brisbane Broncos she has to thank for kick-starting her incredible indoor cricket career.
The 28-year-old from Rockhampton has just returned from her starring role at the 2017 World Cup with the Australian open women's team.
The Aussies won their ninth straight title with a resounding 69-run victory over South Africa in the grand final.
Doble was in stellar form at the international competition and went on to win Player of the Series and be named in the women's World Eight.
It was an incredible feat but one she also achieved at the 2014 World Cup.
Fellow Rocky product Robert Fitzgerald, who won his sixth World Cup title with the Australian open men, was named in the men's World Eight.
A modest Doble said she was "excited but a little surprised” to again be awarded the tournament's highest honour.
"It would have been hard to pick because everyone in our team played as well as each other,” she said.
"My captain, Jude Coleman, she's an absolute superstar but she had a bit of an injury so we nursed her through the week. My points would have gone towards Jude knowing she was carrying injury and seeing how she played.”
Doble has been a revelation in the sport she said she fell into by chance.
She was in Year 11 at The Cathedral College when the school's indoor cricket team was looking for recruits for a competition in Brisbane.
"I kept saying no, I don't want to play but then they said they were going to a Broncos game while we were down there. My mum, who's a massive Broncos supporter, said 'you're going'.
"She came along and we went to the Broncos game and I got my first taste of indoor cricket and it went from there.”
Doble was a natural fit for the fast-paced, high- intensity game.
She made her first Australian team in 2008 for a Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand.
Her fortunes quickly changed and a wealth of talent in the playing ranks at the time meant she was not selected for her country again until 2013.
Doble admitted while it was devastating to be overlooked by selectors, she was determined to win back her place in the team.
"I just kept training and training and training out at the Indoor Sports Arena with Mick Hepburn,” she said.
"I have to give him a lot of credit because he stuck by me in those testing times.
"I never gave up because I really wanted it.
"I had a taste in 2008 of what it was like to play for Australia; just the level that the girls play and train at is just so addictive.
"I set it as my goal and it took me a long time but when I finally cracked that Australian team in 2013 it was probably the best moment of my life.
"Even though I've played in two World Cups and won them both, just to make the Australian team again after being out for so many years was just amazing.”
Doble, who now lives in Sydney and works as a firefighter in the air force, said she loved everything about indoor cricket.
"I love the fact that it's fast and everyone has to be good at everything,” she said.
"The people who play it are such fun to be around and make it so enjoyable.”
Doble will have a break from cricket over Christmas but will maintain her fitness until she picks up with the Queensland team again.
"I'm not sure what they've got on the cards for Australia at the moment but next year the goal is to win the nationals again,” she said.