Photo Essay: Grassroots Women’s Cricket In Durban By Cheryl Roberts

28 Jan


On a summer’s Sunday, sunshine shining day, after doing an early morning hike, I opted to watch a women’s cricket club match in Durban during the first month of January.
Played as a women’s league match of KZN Coastal Cricket, the encounter was between DHS from Durban North and Lindelani from the INK District in Durban. I was interested in the match as it should have featured two international cricketers, Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkuleleko Mlaba from Lindelani and I wanted to get some newest photographic content of them before they left with the South African women’s team on the tour of New Zealand.
When I arrived at the ground in Durban North, Lindelani was fielding and DHS was batting. Lindelani fielded a young team of mostly girl cricketers; most of them playing age group girl cricket for KZN Coastal. And they had the one international Nondumiso Shangase turning up to help guide the team’s younger and smaller enthusiastic cricketers. DHS had some of the youngest players in South African women’s club cricket in 10 year old Haadia and 11 year old Palesa, including several 20 somethings and a very passionate-about-women’s cricket 40 something player.

Lindelani CC’s players stay within the INK District in Durban; that’s Lindelani, Inanda, Ntuzuma. They also school in the area and play their cricket in the hood. DHS players come from all over Durban, from Bluff, Clare Estate, Durban North and other areas. Also, in the DHS team were hijab-attired Muslim cricketers who choose to play competitive sport in hijab. Their team mates fondly refer to them as ‘Ninja’. And there’s a qualified 25 year old electrician, who plays provincial cricket for KZN Coastal, also in the team. She took a hat-trick in the match, that day.
I thought I would hang around at the ground for about an hour or so but I found myself quite taken in with the game and saw it until its finish.
DHS won the match that Lindelani was expected to win; given that Lindelani was higher placed on the league log.
It was fascinating to see the girls bowling and taking wickets and losing their wicket and walking in to bat. And, also awesome to see the older senior players in both teams, cheering on the girls and encouraging them and congratulating them when they took wickets and scored runs.

At this grassroots/club level women’s cricket match, I saw girls just starting out playing cricket, enjoying being in the game. Then there were those playing a few years already and already being selected to represent their provincial team. And amongst them all was the international player Nondumiso Shangase from Inanda who started playing cricket when she was 17 years old and five years later, in 2019 got selected to play for South Africa.
This is show I captured the moments when two women’s cricket teams turned up on a Sunday morning in Durban to play a league match……














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