Cricketer sisters destined for great heights

How, when and where did it all start for you as a cricketer?

Wilca: I started playing cricket during elementary school recess with the boys. It was in 2013 at Nara Primary School in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

Mekelaye: I started playing cricket in 2013 through my sister Wilka during her training sessions at Blue Waters sports ground in Kuisebmond.

You made your debut in T20 in 2018 (Wilka) and 2021 (Mekelaye), how was the experience?

Wilca: Doing my first T20 was a good experience. It was exciting and I wasn’t really nervous because it was all about cricket, and I knew what my role was for the team and why I was there.

Mekelaye: My debut was a very good feeling and experience also because my role model Yasmeen Khan was playing with me in the team; I was a little nervous.

You were part of the Capricorn Eagles who toured Germany last month. How was the experience and what was your contribution to the overall success of the team?

Wilca: It was amazing. I got to see a new world that I mostly only saw on TV, meet new people, make new friends and also find out that people are kinder and respect each other and understand each other too . Being respectful and honest with others and developing a team mentality of thinking ‘us’ not ‘me’ was one of the contributions to the team’s overall success.

Mekelaye: Being part of the Capricorn Eagles Germany tour was amazing. I was able to experience so many new things that I had never seen before.

How does it feel to play with your sister in the national team?

Wilca: It’s a good experience and it’s also exciting. I’m proud of her and hope to play more tournaments with her.

Mekelaye: Playing nationally with my sister was very good and exciting. I look forward to playing more cricket games with her.

What was your best performance as a cricketer and why choose that one?

Wilca: My best performance was when we played against Cameroon when I got 4 overs and took 5 wickets. I gave 6 leads; it was my first time and I was delighted to have performed well for a long time.

Mekelaye: My best performance was when I scored my first 100 runs against the Outjo cricket team. I played 3 overs, took 4 wickets and gave up 11 runs. I was so happy and proud of myself.

You’re good at both batting and bowling, but which do you prefer?

Wilca: I’m good at controlling my ball and I know how to determine a batsman’s weak point, but I prefer to hit even if the team picks me up as bowler.

Mekelaye: I get picked up as a batsman on the team and the only thing I focus on is getting my bowling level with my bat.

What challenges did you face as a cricketer?

Wilca: My biggest challenge was having to sacrifice cricket while injured and having to choose between school and cricket.

Mekelaye: Once I had to throw a cricket ball from the boundary even though I had an injured arm. I usually have trouble shooting, but I like to give my 100% when I play for my team.

Do you think cricket is a career worth pursuing in Namibia?

Wilca: Cricket is a great sport, but right now I’m just playing for fun. I may not be a contract player for years to come, but for now, women’s cricket is still being upgraded.

Mekelaye: I think so but I am not a player under contract; maybe in years to come. Today, women’s cricket continues to grow.

Individually, how has the game changed you as a person?

Wilca: Cricket taught me a lot about punctuality and time management. It improved my communication skills with each individual.

Mekelaye: Cricket has taught me so many things; how to manage my time all the time and start taking a lot of responsibility for myself and the environment.

How would you describe the progress of cricket as a sport in Namibia?

Wilca: Changes have been made here and the playing fields seem more developed than before.

Mekelaye: Cricket is still changing but cricket in Namibia has developed a lot, for example, cricket grounds have developed more than before.

As a young player, who was your role model?

Wilca: I have two – Ellyse Perry from Australia and Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton from the Namibian national team.

Mekelaye: My role model is Jhulan Goswami from the India women’s cricket team, who is ranked as the third best female cricketer.

Where do you see Namibian cricket in the next five years, and what are your dreams for your team and yourself as an individual cricketer?

Wilca: We have come a long way. I want to thank my coaches and everyone has motivated me and helped me through the process of my cricketing career. Appreciation goes to all the coaches and board who have made cricket a passionate sport.

Mekelaye: In the next five years I see Namibia as a very powerful and strong team and my dream is to see myself playing good professional cricket.

2022-07-28 Staff reporter

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