South Africa women’s vice-captain, Chloe Tryon, is looking forward to the team’s departure on Friday for the ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales.
The tournament, which will be played from 24 June to 23 July across five venues, will see the 23-year-old play a major leadership role for the first time in an ICC competition.
The 23-year-old Tryon has come a long way from the 15-year-old who made her international debut back in 2010.
“It’s a blessing to be able to represent my country firstly, but to be vice-captain just tops it off really well,” she said. “It’s been a really good seven years in the team so far, I’ve learned a lot and am still learning from Dané (van Niekerk).
“I’m hoping to be able to play a big role in the World Cup.”
The Durbanite admits that it was not easy starting out, trying to keep cricket and school in balance, but she made it work with the help of her teammates and management on tour.
“It was really tough because I had no social life back then,” she lamented. I took my school books on tour with me and tried hard to make sure that I didn’t let either one of those two slip up.
“When I finished high school I was just really happy that I could focus a lot more on the cricket side of things and being with the team that helped me so much while I was trying to study.”
Having started her career at such a young age, Tryon is very mindful of how overwhelming the big stage can be for a young player and has taken it upon herself to guide the team’s crop of youngsters who will be playing in England and in a World Cup for the first time.
“There’s a lot of new girls in the team and part of my role here is to make that transition into the national team a lot easier for them because it is a lot of pressure,” she elaborated.
“We make leadership a role for all the members of the team, with senior players taking greater responsibility for it. This is going to be a massive tour and it’s our job to make sure that the youngsters stay focused and don’t get overwhelmed.
“When I went to my first World Cup I found it very overwhelming as a youngster. We know that we’re going to have to help them deal with the pressure; there’s a lot of noise, a lot of spectators, TV cameras and lots of other outside influences that could get in the way.
“We need to make sure that the whole team is mentally prepared for that.”
With all that being said, Tryon and the rest of the team are looking forward to the tournament and having all of their matches televised on SuperSport.
“We’re definitely excited about it,” she continued. We want to show South Africa how good we are as a team. The team and the women’s game have grown a lot in the last few years.
“Momentum’s involvement has brought about a massive change and the contracts that the girls have gotten has also helped with performance.
“Now, for the first time our friends and families back home will be able to watch all of our matches on TV instead of following on the internet and that’s a massive thing for us, we’re very excited about this and we hope to make our country proud.”