A sporting power couple. The First Couple of Australian cricket. Cricket’s most powerful partnership. They’re the kind of labels that tend to be thrown at Alyssa Healy and Mitchell Starc.
Little wonder, really. The 27-year-olds are the first married couple to play test cricket for Australia, have both starred in Ashes-winning teams, and have both represented their country in a World Cup squad.
But strip away all the green and gold and they’re just husband and wife, “best friends”, childhood sweethearts.
The pair met when they were just nine years old, while facing off in Sydney’s Northern District Junior Cricket Association. A year later they found themselves on the same side, in the same position, sharing wicket-keeping duties in a representative team coached by Starc’s father, Paul.
“I took a bit of a liking to the little blonde keeper,” the fast-bowler told News Corp in 2013. “I had a little thing for her for a long time. She was obviously pretty talented, she could match it with the boys.”
Friends and teammates throughout their teen years, by 2010 it had become clear there was something more between them.
“Just before his first Australian tour to India we had a two to three-week period where we pretty much hung out every day,” Healy said. “Just before he flew out we questioned what was going on and whether this [relationship] was actually happening. We kind of just fell into it, being friends for a period of time before that. It just happened.”
They married in April 2016.