From Hood Cricket To The World Cup: Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkululeko Mlaba’s Cricket Journey By Cheryl Roberts

23 Jan

F862EDF0-1EDA-4FDA-A7A9-76E74F02DB47

In South Africa’s T20 women’s cricket world cup team were selected two cricketers from Durban. They are from Durban and play for Lindelani cricket club and for KZN Coastal women’s team. They are Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleo Mlaba.
Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko were attracted to cricket because they went to the cricket field to see what was going on when their brothers went to play. And soon they were batting and bowling just like the boys and young men cricketers at Lindelani CC; taking up their space on the cricket field.
That was over 5 years ago. Nondumiso came from Inanda and Nonkuleleko came from Ntuzuma. Soon they were making up Lindelani CC’s women’s team and playing in the KZN Coastal women’s cricket league. And not long after that, they were getting selected into the KZN girls teams.
Nondumiso played for KZN Coastal u19 girls team within her first year of playing cricket. Thereafter, she was soon selected into the KZN Coastal women’s team. In 2018, she became the first black African woman cricketer to captain KZN Coastal and the first black African woman cricketer to score a century in interprovincial competition for KZN.
Nonkuleleko played for KZN Coastal u16 girls team and then for the u19 girls team at the SA youth weeks. And she got selected into the women;s team whilst still a girl cricketer.
Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko got called up to the national academy, with Nondumiso called up in 2017 and Nonkuleleko called up in 2018. Also in 2019, Nondumiso got selected for the SA women’s cricket team for the home series against Pakistan and for the SA Emerging team for the home series against Sri Lanka. Nonkululeko also got to play for the SA Emerging team against Sri Lanka. And then came the big selection of both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko for the away series against India, late in 2019.
In 2020, both the players from Lindelani CC were named in the SA team to play New Zealand away. And on the day of departure for New Zeland, SA’s T20 world cup team was announced. And both Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba were named in the T20 world cup team.

14EA02FC-3DA0-4892-96CE-0F5321909E64

It was indeed a journey, from hood cricket to world cup cricket, for Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba. Both cricketers found sports joy on the cricket field after their mothers passed away and, as they searched for something to fill voids in their lives, they found happiness in cricket.
They worked hard at training with their coach and, once they saw their potential surfacing, they stepped up their cricket ambitions and wanted to play international cricket. Today, both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko have achieved that feat. They went to township-based schools and stayed at their township cricket club.
Now it’s about consolidating their place in the SA women’s cricket team, scring the runs, taking the wickets, being sharp in the field and helping SA to be one of the world’s top women’s cricket teams.
When they not touring with the national team and are back home in Durban, they turn out for provincial training with the kZN Coastal squad and play league matches for Lindelani CC where they guide and encourage the girl cricketers at the club. Both Nondumiso and Nonkuleleko are role models and mentors at Lindelani CC where the girl cricketers are inspired by the achievements of their team mates.
“I’m very excited bout my world cup selction’, says Nondumiso Shangase. “I’ve been working hard at my cricket, dreaming of playing for South Africa. And now making it into the T20 World Cup team is one of my dreams coming true. I want to score runs and take wickets for SA.’
223328CA-BBC5-427B-857D-161F97D45D49

Nonkululeko Mlaba is amazed at how its been happening so fast for her over the past year. “Just the other day I was in the KZN u19 girls team. Then i went to the naional academy as a late call up and soon I was in the SA team to India and now selcted for the World Cup. Wow. Its all too much for me,’ says Nonkuleleko. ‘I know its a long road ahead, that I’m still young and learning about international cricket. I want to develop into a world class cricketer and be a good player for my SA team.’
Cricketers Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba have shown that sports development in communities and hoods is vital and should be prioritised. If cricket development wasn’t introduced to the Lindealni community, the talents of Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba would have never been known.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: