Marizanne Kapp is one of South Africa’s top all-rounders since making her international debut at the 2009 World Cup in Australia. Her 128-run partnership against Pakistan with her good friend, Dane van Niekerk is the highest-ever partnership for South Africa Women at a World Cup. Add to this her 102
record for the highest individual score by a South African at the Women's World Cup, makes her not only a formidable player, but one of only a few
International cricketers capable of opening both the batting and bowling.
Known as Kappie to her friends she has been ranked as high as number 2 in the world for her bowling in T20 Internationals, drawing comparisons to Australian
allrounder Ellyse Perry who is also a multi-sport athlete and all-rounder. Marizanne is now slouch with her multi-discipline either, representing her
province in netball, athletics, biathlon and lifesaving, also became the first female cricketer – alongside Dane van Niekerk to be included in the
Eastern Province Cricket Academy where she trained alongside male cricketers. Her career now spans international experience in the only two domestic
T20 women’s series in the world, the Kia Super league in England (Surrey Stars) and the Big Bash in Australia (Sydney Sixes).
I spent time with her talking about the T20 leagues and what they bring to her as well as to women’s Cricket in general. What is very clear is Marizanne
is a huge fan of the format and what it is doing for women’s Cricket around the world. Interestingly she focuses when we talk on the impact it has
on academy players and how valuable it is to gain experience of playing with/against the best international players.
For Marizanne these domestic T20 leagues have three huge benefits, firstly she feels that this injection of mentoring/coaching and exposure to such vast
international talent can have a major impact on a countries academy players as well creating a desire for potential new players to focusing on getting
into academies. It is about creating a breeding ground for the next generation to gain more than any before them, you can see she is passionate about
this and loves to be involved. There is no sense from her that she is the “legend” imparting, to her she merely a seasoned player wanting to help the
Second for Marizanne is the meeting of minds, experience and talent that happens when the best international players can get together in a non-international
environment, relax, learn, share and gain from each other. All the players I have spoken to voice a similar view and agree how invaluable this for
them and for what they can learn and take back to their respective home countries. The best sharing with and learning from the best can only benefit
the improvement of the game as the domestic T20 series grows.
Finally, to get the public involved in this exciting format from the outset is key and comes with a number of benefits as Marizanne sees it. To engage
the public gets bigger crowds which are always great to play in front of but more importantly it showcases to the potential next generation a sport
they may have never considered. There are few sports where international players have broken through at a young age more so than Cricket, so to advertise
this to the public and all the young potential players is great. Added to this the reality that crowds, viewing figures etc. bring sponsors and with
it money, resource and stability to plan. For Marizanne this is key, to be able to fund the future of the game, the next generation and to see the
women’s game grow from where it was when she started.
Marizanne has seen so much change since she first started playing and she is still at the fore of pushing the women’s game forward and a pleasure to spend
time with. She is a great ambassador for the game and I hope she will continue to be so and impart her wisdom and passion even after she decides to