Chetty adds panache to SA women’s cricket

2014-08-07 00:00

THERE’S no doubt cricket and rugby are seen as sports for the boys in South Africa, with netball and hockey assigned to the girls.

Fact is, in today’s world, the girls are not scared to step up to the plate and definitely do not back down from a challenge. It may be low key and go un-noticed, but there are a group of women who wear South Africa’s green and gold with purpose and passion on the cricket and rugby field.

One such player is KZN’s Trisha Chetty, who turns out for the women’s Protea side, keeping wicket and opening the batting in ODIs. When it comes to T20s, she walks in at the fall of the first wicket.

“I have always been sporty. Throughout my school days. I invariably was sportswoman of the year and enjoyed most sporting codes, including athletics and volleyball,” said Chetty.

Cricket started as a bit of fun in the back yard with her family and uncles. “Then I got involved in what was then Bakers Mini Cricket,” said Chetty.

“I saw it happening at a nearby ground one day and my mother wanted me to check it out and join. I listened to her and took a few wickets in my first game, playing with boys.

“From there, I joined the team at school and my cricket career had started.”

After school, Chetty turned out for Chatsworth United Cricket Club. She was soon selected at provincial level for the KZN women’s side and her major breakthrough came in 2007, when she made the Protea side, aged 18.

“No doubt, that remains my highlight in cricket terms to date,” she said. “To have reached that level so young, I was blessed and knew I had to make a commitment to put in the effort to remain at that point in the years to come.”

Chetty played in this year’s women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, the team enjoying a prosperous tournament to reach the semi-finals, beating New Zealand in the quarters.

“That has been something to remember from a playing viewpoint. The odds were against us, no-one expected us to advance, but we pulled it off and the feeling afterwards is something I will never forget.”

Sadly, the semi-final against England was a bridge too far for Chetty and the Proteas. “It wasn’t our best game and to make it worse, it was televised” said Chetty.

Some of the youngsters in the side battled to handle the occasion but on the positive side, at least we were one of the four remaining teams and the experience was worth it.”

To date, Chetty has played in six World Cups (T20 and ODIs). While she relishes the opportunity to play at the highest level against the world’s best, she is frustrated South Africa more often than not, battles against the stronger sides.

“We have never done that well against the likes of New Zealand, West Indies, Australia or England. If any of those teams are in our group, it’s tough going for us,” she said.

Chetty is currently in Pretoria, training at the High Performance Centre. She will be there till August 15, training five days a week and tuning into the mental aspect of the game.

“My immediate goal is to keep my spot in the team, with a long-term view to be in the top 10 players in all formats of the game,” she said. “As a team, we are preparing for a tour of England later this month. The ultimate goal and focus is the 2017 ODI World Cup.”


ODIs 60

Runs 1 294, HS 76*, Avg 30,09

Strike Rate 63,96, 7x50

Catches 66

Stumpings 26.

T20s 44

Runs 677, HS 55, Avg 18,80 Strike Rate 86,79, 2x50

Catches 14

Stumpings 16.

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