It was a dream come true for University of the Western Cape (UWC) cricket star Andrie Steyn when she was selected into Cricket South Africa’s Momentum Proteas squad for the 2017 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup in England in a few weeks.
Steyn, a second-year sports science student at UWC, was one of only three players from the Western Cape - alongside WP teammate Laura Wolvaardt and Boland's Moseline Daniels - to be named among the 15-member team for the ICC showpiece, which will take place from 24 June to 23 July.
“I'm very happy about my selection,” Steyn comments. “It has been a dream of mine to represent my country at a World Cup, and something that I have been working towards for a long time.”
Steyn says she knew that if she was able to do well in the past Quadrangular Series in Potchefstroom she would definitely give herself a good chance to be selected.
“And luckily,” she notes, “I was able to perform at the right time.”
Born and bred in Durban, Steyn began her cricketing career early.
“I saw the boys play and it looked really fun,” she remembers. “So I started to play mini-cricket with the boys in Grade 1, and I was introduced to girls’ cricket in Grade 4. And although I tried many other sports, cricket is the one I enjoyed the most.”
She never looked back. Steyn has earned 25 caps for the national team to date [20 one-day international and five T20 internationals]. Her highest score came in the recent Quadrangular in Potchefstroom, when she scored 117 against Ireland.
The specialist right-hand batter was selected to represent the South African under-19 squad when she was 15, and was promoted to the senior national team in 2014, when she was just 16 years old - the youngest player in the team.
“I enjoyed being selected into the senior national team,” she says, “but it was also terrifying at the same time.”
Her selection came after she excelled for the Northerns provincial cricket team - just in time for the 2014 ICC Women’s World T20 in Bangladesh, where she was the 15th player, taking part in the warm-up matches against the West Indies and the host country.
While balancing her studies and enjoying the great outdoors and some drumming, Steyn is now playing for all the UWC cricket teams, as well as the Western Province and the national teams, and in winter she plays hockey - just for fun.
PLAYER FACTS: Andrie Steyn
Full name: Andrie Steyn
Born: 23/11/1996 in Durban
Playing style: Right-hand batter
Representative sides: South Africa Under-19 (2012), South Africa Proteas Women (2014-present)