Former White Fern Sarah Tsukigawa uses her cricketing experience and knowledge to provide updates about women's cricket.
Nicola Browne retired from international cricket in August. Just one month later she embarked on an island adventure in Rarotonga. Browne spent two weeks coaching on the South Pacific island as she worked to impart some of the vast experience she gained during her impressive White Fern career.
Browne never envisaged a road being part of a cricket field, however this was the case along with a relaxed approach to the gentleman’s game. Any former teammate of Browne would see how “Manty” would easily fit into the laid back Island style.
Women’s cricket has started to boom in the Cook Islands and Browne was keen to help develop the team in anyway she can.
She laments that not being born in Rarotonga, as her style of play would have suited theirs. The locals like to swing the bat hard and bring their own distinct flavour. When contemplating their style Browne comes to the conclusion that it’s important for them to continue hitting the ball hard, but concedes that they would benefit from a few adjustments to ensure increased success.
Browne managed to link up with Cook Island Cricket through Northern Districts’ relationship with the Pacific Island, which has developed over the past 3-4 years.
“I found the trip refreshing and I have coached a number of teams, from women’s club teams to the National Men’s team,” Browne said fondly.
Along with long hours of work, Browne also managed to include some relaxation into her trip with a trip to Autitaki. The local cricketers took her under their wing, sharing a feast of local cuisine and taking her snorkelling in their famous lagoon.
She was keen to ensure her hard work didn’t end when she left so recorded a dvd and produced a manual for teams to refer to.
The expansion of women’s cricket, especially in the Pacific Islands, is an exciting prospect. Cricket in the West Indies is an excellent example of how natural flare can be harnessed to compete against the top teams in the world. Teams like Rarotonga have every right to set their goals high and world cricket will be better off for it.