Nonkululeko batting for girls across Mzansi

Nonkululeko batting for girls across Mzansi

By Andile and Mandla Dladla

Nonkululeko Mlaba is a young South African cricketer who was born in the beautiful and rolling hills of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. She began playing cricket in the year 2013 in the town Ntuzuma.

From just sitting at home idly with nothing to do, it was the influence of her brother and sister that led to her eventually taking up the ball and cricket bat in her hands and spun her way to the world stage.

“My siblings always went to the grounds so one day I decided to go and watch them play. To my surprise there were also kids that were my age and so I began playing with them and realized I had so much fun.

“I joined Lindelani Cricket Club where I was coached by Sandile Hlongwa in the year 2013,” said Mlaba. “The following year I went on to represent the KZN Provincial U- 19 and the following year I was called up again.”

In 2018 she was selected for the national U-19 and after completing matric in 2019 she was enrolled to the national academy. The same year there was a camp for the proteas women in Pietermaritzburg and again she was selected for the squad that participated in India.

“The growth of women sport around the world is encouraging and recently Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced their contracted squad for the 2022/23 season and the name Nonkululeko Mlaba appeared on the list.

“When I found out that I was contracted with CSA I was naturally excited because my goal was to be one of the contracted players. I saw the news on social media because I didn’t know but this proved that I have been working hard and they want to keep me.

“I have to work extra hard because it is only a year contract which means I have to keep pushing and believing that the contract would be extended even the following season,” said the offs-pin bowler.

Mlaba revealed that traveling to countries like India and Qatar is an important learning chapter in their lives as it exposes them to different cultures and meet different people.

“Having recently participated at the Cricket World Cup and doing very well to bow out in the semi-finals of tournament was great, it was a good learning experience though as it was tough.”

We have the T20 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa in 2023 and Mlaba is hopeful that they will be able to reach the finals this time around especially because they will enjoy home advantage.

Mlaba wants everyone to just enjoy the game because for her the journey started as something to while away time but it got her to the top and so she reckons it’s important to have fun in the sport.

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