St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Women's Cricket St George's Park - World Cup gals bowled over by game
World Cup gals bowled over by game
Laura Webb

GROWING up in cricket-mad families may have inspired two young Port Elizabeth women to embrace a game traditionally the preserve of men – but these maidens are truly bowled over by their sport.

And what better proof of their talents than being chosen to represent South Africa at the eighth Women’s Cricket World Cup, which starts in Pretoria on March 18.

Click image to enlarge
Shafeeqa Pillay, left, and Clair Terblanchehave been named to represent South Africa during the2005 Women's Cricket World Cup to be held in Pretoria in March.
Claire Terblanche, 20, and Shafeeqa Pillay, 19, were all smiles and bursting with excitement this week as they related the experiences which secured them a place in the South African team.

The passion both women – nicknamed “CT” and “Shacks” respectively by their team-mates – share for the game started at an early age, with their families providing a solid foundation for their sport careers.

Terblanche said she had grown up in a family of cricket-mad males and started playing the game with her boy cousins.

Pillay’s father was a cricket coach, who instilled in her a love of the game as she eagerly watched many Eastern Province and South African matches with him as a young child.

Pillay and Terblanche said they were pleased to say South Africans were becoming more accepting of women cricketers. However, Pillay said, “more exposure, help and sponsorship would aid in creating a bigger public interest in women’s cricket”.

Terblanche, who matriculated from Alexander Road High School, is taking a year off from her human movement science course at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to concentrate on her cricket career.

Pillay, a sports management and marketing student at Varsity College, hopes to combine her studies and cricket, but “my cricket will always take first place”.

Sporting honours came early to both cricketers, with Terblanche representing the EP under-19 team at the age of 14, and Pillay at the tender age of 11.

“My most memorable moment is singing the national anthem in my first Test series in England in 2002,” Terblanche said. Pillay cited singing the anthem in India as her most exhilarating moment.

The players received the news of being chosen for the World Cup team just hours after they left the SA cricket trials and were waiting for their luggage at the Port Elizabeth airport.

Many a tear was shed by their proud mothers when the women’s World Cup team was announced during the tea break the fifth Test match between South Africa and England.

PIllay and Terblanche both have their idols who inspire them.

Jacques Rudolph is a motivator for Pillay and “despite all the controversy, Hansie (Cronje) will always be a true hero to me”. All-rounder Terblanche sees A B de Villiers as her icon.

Although both women have represented SA since 2002, nerves still play a big part: “The first ball of the match is always nerve-wracking,” said Pillay.

Weekend Post
February 5, 2005

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