Ashleigh Gardner's T20 World Cup-inspired piece of art
While Australia lifting the Women's T20 World Cup for the fifth time was the headline of the day, equally significant was the record audience of 86,174 that graced the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 8 March. It was the highest crowd ever registered at a women's cricket match as well as the highest crowd for a women's sporting event in Australia. Gardner ensured that the crowd was prominently featured as she captured the essence of that evening in a piece of art she produced for Mel Jones.
Gardner's work has already been richly appreciated on social media, with fellow Australian cricketers Nicole Bolton, Alyssa Healy and Moises Henriques also requesting her for pieces. But, she revealed that she has only just taken up the hobby as a way to pass time while being stuck at home during the lockdown. She also recently showcased this talent during an ICC Instagram takeover few weeks ago.
"I said to my mum, if we’re going into self-isolation, I’m going to need a hobby because I know I get bored easily – and then I thought, why not try painting?" Gardner told reporters on Friday. "Having an Aboriginal background, I have a connection with (dot painting), I’m not an actual artist but it’s in my blood.
"I’m the least artistic person, I can’t draw... it’s something I’ve just picked up purely out of boredom and I’ve realised I really like it. It’s a therapeutic thing. It’s so different to what I do (normally), I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed it.
"For so long I’ve had a schedule and I’ve been told what to do day-to-day and it’s something I can do off my own back and it’s quite relaxing. It’s going to be tough to do when I go back to training and playing full-time but now while I’ve got the time, I can enjoy it."