“She actually gave me one of her hats, which is still in the hat draw back in Melbourne. It’s a moment that I’ll cherish for a very long time. For her now to be commentating on me is pretty special.”
Former Australian captain Belinda Clark was soon on the phone asking King’s parents during her early high school years if she could play senior women’s cricket.
It was the beginning of a pathway to the top which has seen King become Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the Women’s World Cup with five at an average under 17 after wins over England and Pakistan.
She received an unexpected call-up for the Ashes this year following a serious knee injury to Georgia Wareham.
In the past, Australia’s match against India on March 19 would be cause for friendly conflict in the King household given her parents, Leroy and Sharon King, are Anglo Indians from Chennai.
“They were always with India and I was always going for Australia. I’d have my green and gold shirt on,” she said with a laugh.
“Obviously now that they have a daughter representing the green and gold they’ve changed very quickly. They support Australia, that’s for sure.”
The great advantage of having Indian parents, particularly a father who is an international hotel chef, is the food.
This has made King a particularly popular member of whichever team she has represented.
During the Ashes Leroy cooked a feast at home and delivered it to the team hotel.
“It worked out perfectly,” Alana said. “It was a nice night to have the whole team together and have a meal because generally everyone just does their own thing.”
Leroy catered for 30, which Alana said was no strain given family gatherings can extend to 50.
King believes her success will help boys and girls of south Asian heritage to believe they can play for Australia.
“You can be what you can see,” she said.
“Representing your country is a big inspiration piece for all the kids growing up.
“Obviously Lisa Sthalekar was of Indian background. She was the first Indian girl that I saw who was playing for Australia.
“I was like ‘well, it is possible’ and now you’re seeing Usman Khawaja in the men’s space opening the batting for Australia in a Test match, and he’s trying to inspire the next generation of kids who live in this beautiful country.
“They can play for Australia even though they’re of different heritage.
“I think it’s awesome. We’re seeing more and more kids of south Asian background who are picking up a bat and ball and know that there is a pathway for them.”