If the Victorian Premier Cricket women's season stopped tomorrow, you'd be hard pressed to find a player more deserving of the most improved player award than Cailin Green.
The former Bendigo Cricket Club junior is enjoying a breakout season with Carlton at Premier Cricket level.
With 391 runs at an average of 39.1, and 17 wickets at an average of 15.5, Green is one of the major reasons why the Blues will play in the women's first XI finals for the first time.
"I wouldn't say I had a bigger pre-season, I probably had a more consistent routine,'' Green said.
"Living in Melbourne and being in lockdown I used cricket as a distraction from the lockdown and not being able to go home.
"The biggest thing for me is probably my mindset. I've really enjoyed my cricket, I love all my team-mates and really want to play for them.
"Just being really positive with my mindset has made a big difference.
"Cricket can be a really hard game when you're not getting the results you'd like... I'm very happy that this is working for me."
Green's 391 runs, including three half-centuries, is the fifth-best total in the competition, while her 17 wickets places her inside the top 10 in the league.
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Green said her sharp improvement was a combination of hard work and advice from a former Australian Test captain - Graham Yallop.
Yallop played 39 Tests for Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"Graham has probably been the biggest factor in my cricket,'' Green said.
"He's probably coached me since about 2016. He's been very good to me. He could take credit for everything I know."
It's not just Green's batting that has improved under Yallop's guidance.
Two years ago Green switched from bowling medium-pace to off-spinners.
The move has paid dividends.
"It's taken that couple of years of development for me to settle in and I feel as though the ball is coming out really well,'' she said.
Green had Prahran in a spin last week, taking career-best figures of 5-40.
The Blues are second on the ladder heading into the final home and away round this weekend.
"A couple of our new recruits have helped steady the ship and some of our younger players have really stepped up when they've needed to,'' Green said.
"In the past couple of years we were a side that would put in a really good bowling performance, but then crumble with the bat or the other way around.
"This season we're much more consistent as a team.
"We play Ringwood in our last game this week and then head into the finals.
"It's the first time Carlton has played in the finals in the first XI, so it's an exciting time for everyone."
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Away from cricket, Green is studying biomedical science at Monash University.
"It's a challenge (to juggle study, cricket and work), but I think I thrive on being busy,'' Green said.
"I like things that are challenging, so I'm really enjoying it. Monash has been really good in helping me balance study and cricket.
"I don't do things by half, so I was always going to give cricket a good crack."
While winning a flag with Carlton is Green's first goal, she's a strong chance to have representative cricket duties in April as well.
Green is in the Victoria Country under-19 training squad for the national championships in Adelaide.
On Premier Cricket form, it's hard to see the Victoria Country selectors not picking the talented all-rounder.
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