Proteas Women opener, Laura Wolvaardt, reflects on her World Cup campaign, which saw South Africa reach the semi-finals.
The matriculant and head girl at Pinelands High School in Cape Town made four 50-plus scores and one 48 not-out for the Proteas during the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Her performance, which saw her end as South Africa’s top run-scorer with 324 runs, saw her selected as one of the opening batters in the Team of the Tournament.
‘This being my first World Cup, I didn’t really know what to expect, so I didn’t go in with any expectations,’ she said.
‘I had a really good time, I think the team did really well, so that was really nice to see. I just didn’t try to think of the pressure of the World Cup too much, I just concentrated on what I needed to do with the bat and on the field and it worked out alright for me.
‘It’s a pity the team lost so closely in the semis, but that’s cricket, it happens, but I hope we made everyone proud at home.’
The 18-year-old is obsessed with batting and is often forced out of the nets once she has reached her required overs at team practice sessions, but she does not think she will ever get enough of it.
‘Batting is really what I did for fun growing up. It’s really my favourite thing to do, it’s how I released stress after school, it’s how I relax when I have nothing else to do, I just love to bat,’ she continued.
Looking back at the World Cup and the tournament she had, Wolvaardt singles out not having scored a century during the competition as one of her regrets, and wants to work on converting her half-centuries into bigger scores.
‘I had a few opportunities where I should have pushed through, but didn’t, so I’m still a little disappointed with how I performed. But the World Cup, in general, was just an amazing experience and I think I learned a lot as a cricketer and as a batter.
‘I learned a lot from the senior players how to play the conditions and how wickets change and how best to adapt. It was a really great learning experience for me, and I’m looking forward to executing those learnings when the opportunity presents itself again.’
Coming up next for the teenager, is catching up on school work and studying for her matric preliminary and final exams.
She hopes to study medicine and has already applied to do so at several universities in South Africa, but Wolvaardt says she still has a lot to think about in terms of her future. Ideally, she would study and play cricket, but she is aware of the difficulties of that path.
‘My answer still hasn’t changed because there hasn’t been a lot of development on that topic,’ she said, laughing.
‘I still really don’t know what I want to do. I’m still waiting to hear back from the universities and once I find that out, I’ll decide whether I should go to school or whether I should take a gap year. The good news is, I’m still young and have a lot of time to do both, and my parents are really supportive either way, so it’s alright.’