Last week I was fortunate enough to get invited to a media day to meet and interview the Proteas – the national women’s cricket team. For me personally is was an opportunity of a lifetime to be in the presence of such dedicated athletes.
I only had an hour and decided to do Facebook Live interviews which I would be able to upload to Youtube later and share on my blog. You can watch my interviews further down the page.
The very amazing hour with the Protea ladies
What I took away from my handful of interviews was that each of the players felt a sense of pride after being called to the national team. They remember that feeling of walking out onto the field the first time with the Protea proudly on their chests, the centuries/wickets that was their best. They are proud to play for our national team.
What they all seemed to agree on was that even if cricket is their focus and it takes up all their time, it is worth it. The times they travel (and that could be up to 10 months of the year) they try to not miss home too much. Each of them has a strong feeling of rivalry towards the England side – and then Australia.
Each of these players should be an inspiration to the younger generations. They didn’t all come from privileged backgrounds or big cities. However, some have made the team at 16 showing determination and guts beyond their years.
We as South Africans should support our team by watching their matches – especially with the World Cup coming up.
My first interview was with Vice Captain Cloe Tryon who was called up to the national team at only 16. She has a bubbling personality who dreams of many years in the team, but one day when this is over she would love to become a coach. I would’ve loved to spend more time with her, but she had to rush off to another interview.
Saarah Smith is another youngster who recently made the team. She already understands the privilege of being chosen to represent South Africa. I wish her a fantastic World Cup.
At 28 Moseline Daniels is one of the older players. During my interview I could hear her love for the game. She just seems such a phenomenal person that just wants to be there and be part of her country’s team. It is women like her that would inspire countless young girls to reach for their dreams.
Masabata Klaas with her wide smile was such a pleasure to interview. She is also one of the youngsters, but she is such a passionate personality.
At just 19 Laura Wolfaardt carries a very quiet but strong personality. I could sense the intense focus she has on her career as a professional cricketer and knew I had to interview her.
If you want to know how to juggle studying and playing cricket for the national team, Andrie Steyn is the player to ask. Her story actually just shows the discipline players like Andrie has.
I’m guilty of not watching sport much nowadays, but I will make a point of it to watch all our female national teams from now on. I wish these wonderful ladies all the best with the World Cup and their careers as professional cricketers. Go make us proud!
We need more sponsors for women’s sports
I was into sports my whole school career. I was fortunate enough to have had couching sessions with Myrtle Bothma, a legendary hurdler. I could’ve made track and field or netball a priority, but I didn’t because I couldn’t have a dream of going to the Olympics or becoming a professional – because we were not part of the Olympics community and professional sportsmen and women couldn’t make a living from representing their country.
If there were more sponsors (and our political situation was different back then) I would’ve gunned to make a national team. I never want my daughters to have regrets like me one day – I want them to have all the opportunities in the world. I want to see that the big corporates in South Africa sponsor our women’s teams and afford these dedicated sports enthusiasts the opportunity to follow their dreams and represent our country.
Here are some new cricket terms I learnt while preparing for my interview and article
- Bowling a maiden over – To bowl an over in which no runs are scored off the bat, nor from a wide or no-ball.
- French cut – An attempted attacking batting shot in front of the wicket resulting in four fortunate runs behind the wicket off the inside or bottom edge of the bat. Usually millimetres away from a ‘Bad luck, mate’.
- Golden Duck – A special case of a duck in which the batsman is out on his first delivery of an innings.
Glossary source: Wanderers