Wyatt Worldwide | Melbourne Renegades - BBL
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Wyatt Worldwide

06 January 2019

Dani Wyatt first played for England nearly nine years ago, and feels blessed to have always listed “cricketer” as her occupation. She plays professionally all-year round, near and far, and is currently enjoying her third WBBL summer with the Melbourne Renegades.

Her 110,000 Instagram and 184,000 Twitter followers attest to a level of fame and popularity that her old school friends, in their office and café jobs back home in Stoke on Trent, must consider other-worldly.

Four years ago, she almost broke the internet when she jokingly proposed to Virat Kohli on Twitter. Media still trip over themselves to revisit the stunt each time she plays in India.

Yet she needs only look across the room at her travelling companion on her 10th visit to Australia, younger brother Max, for a picture of what fame in 2018 really looks like.

“He’s an influencer,” Wyatt says of her 20-year-old sibling. “His job is to travel the world. He’s one of these young, fit models who lives off Instagram. There’s a lot of kids doing it now in England, he’s earning a lot more than me. He knows the right people.”

Max’s social media army is enormous, young folk who see his buffed body adorned by certain brands of underwear or slightly more substantial clothing and are drawn moth-like to buy, buy, buy. While Dani takes block for the Renegades, Max is enjoying a working holiday of sorts in Melbourne, influencing under the southern sun.

“He just wears clothing brands, gets paid to model them and post them out to his 450,000 followers,” Dani says. “He’s doing really well, he’s a good lad.”

Her own significant influential abilities were underscored when Wyatt stepped off the plane and cracked 62 off 47 balls at the Junction Oval to pilot the Renegades successful course in a big run chase against the Strikers in early December.

She admits to copping “a bit of stick” upon arrival from Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham, who two weeks earlier had crushed Wyatt’s England in the WorldT20 final in the Caribbean.

Opponent one day, teammate the next is a marker of the women’s game’s growth; Wyatt says there’s no prickly banter on the field and all get on well. Her player of the match knock on return after missing WBBL03 attested to her comfort in red.

Her collection of cricket shirts is impressive; Wyatt plays for Southern Vipers in the English Super League, Sussex in county cricket, men’s league for Whitmore, for Meakins Women in Stoke, the Renegades in the WBBL. And of course England.

“In 2010 I was lucky enough to be in the MCC Young Cricketers set-up based at Lord’s, which was supposed to be only two years but me and Sarah Taylor ended up being there for four summers. When that finished we had the first England contracts, so I’ve been professional since about 2011. That’s amazing really, I never really thought I’d be playing cricket for a living.

“I’m not sure about these (Renegades) girls (being professional), I don’t want to rub it in if they’re not! It is hard work, and I do see it as a job. But to travel the world for a living, it’s not bad.”

She declined a WBBL gig last year, longing for a first home Christmas in ages, only for her father to drop a Yuletide surprise: “Right, we’re off to Vietnam!”

Melbourne has a second home feel now, where a day off couldn’t be better filled than with a leisurely breakfast, a nice cup of tea, perhaps a bit of go-karting, then out to dinner – although she’s still searching for a good Indian restaurant. “English people love a good curry.”

Wyatt describes herself as relaxed, someone who doesn’t take life too seriously and does what makes her happy. “Family first, and I always think person first, cricket player second. If you’re a good person, train hard, good things will happen, you’ll get rewards.”