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From backyard cricket to Lady Chevrons star

Sharne Mayers

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

ZIMBABWE national women’s cricket team star Sharne Mayers has been in brilliant form with the bat at the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) Women T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier.

The 26-year-old cricketer has already recorded two half-centuries as the team seeks to progress to the next stage of qualification for the global event in T20 cricket.

Mayers, who has also represented Zimbabwe in hockey, scored 62 runs in the first Group A match against Mozambique before another exciting 65 when the team played Tanzania.

The Bulawayo-born star failed to reach a half-century for the first time in the competition when she fell for 40 in Zimbabwe’s 82-run victory over Rwanda on Thursday, which sealed qualification to the final against Namibia at Harare Sports Club this afternoon.

Simply put, Mayers is currently enjoying her game in national team colours and she attributes her purple patch to hard work as well as the input of her coaches.

“I have worked hard for this and I also got a lot of feedback from my coaches on how to go about my innings. It feels good performing for my team and I hope to continue doing more,” Mayers told The Sports Hub in an interview on Friday.

Mayers, who captained Zimbabwe at the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Global Qualifier, where the team failed to qualify for the global showpiece, said she was determined to ensure that her dream of rubbing shoulders with the best players at the World Cup becomes a reality.

“Playing in a World Cup is the ultimate goal. It is something that I really want to achieve before I retire from the game.

“As a team, we are currently so motivated and focused on achieving our goals. We all know what we want and it fits with the team goals, so I have no doubt we will go all the way, especially if we continue on our current path,” she said.

Playing at a World Cup would be the fulfilment of what has been a lifelong goal for Mayers, who, like most Zimbabwean cricketers, got her early introduction to the sport by playing the game with her friends and siblings at the backyard of their Morningside home in Bulawayo.

“Cricket is a game we played in the backyard of our home in Bulawayo. And once I was able to play at school with the boys, it motivated me even more knowing that I had the support from my family and my school,” Mayers said.

“I come from a sporting family. My father played provincial squash, my brothers played hockey at as well as provincial cricket. Many of my cousins were involved in various sports at provincial and national level.”

Mayers, who attended Masiyephambili Junior School before moving to Petra for primary and high school, went on to make her debut for the national women’s cricket team in 2006 at the age of 14.

“I started playing backyard cricket at about 6 before I started playing at school when I was about 10 and I made my debut for the national team in one-day international matches at 14,” she said.

Apart from the senior national team, Mayers has also represented the Zimbabwe U19s while locally, she has played for Tuskers women, Queens Sports Club and is currently with Bulawayo Athletic Club.

She also had a stint abroad with Old Boys Collegians Cricket Club in New Zealand.

Interestingly, Mayers has another talent in hockey having represented the country in the sport in which she is also a qualified umpire.

“I am involved in other sports such as hockey and it’s where I am likely to be found when I am not playing cricket. I have actually played for the Zimbabwe hockey team in the past,” she said.

In hockey she played for the Zimbabwe Schools U18 side, the Zimbabwe women’s side and the Zimbabwe U21 teams.

At the moment she currently umpires in local hockey matches and is graded in international hockey with International Hockey Federation.

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