Interview with Sterre Kalis – Netherlands national cricket player

Born on 30 August 1999, Sterre Kalis at a very young age has achieved several milestones in her cricket career. One such milestone is being selected in ICC Women’s Global Development Squad this year. She has earlier played in 2015 ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier. Her recent form has earned her a place in upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers in Netherlands. In an exclusive chat with Female Cricket, Sterre Kalis talks about her cricket journey. 

Interview with Sterre Kalis - Netherlands national cricket player

1. Many congratulations on being selected in the ICC Women’s Global Development Squad. How excited are you with the opportunity?
I am very excited that I have been selected fort he Women’s Global Development Squad. It is a very big opportunity for me to play a couple of games against strong sides in the UK with a lot of good players around me.

2. You are just 18 and has been selected to participate in the tournament. What was your reaction when you got to know about your selection in this squad?
I was really honored by the invitation. I really hope to play much more games like this in the future!

3. Now let us go back and talk about your initial cricket days. What was your childhood cricket like? What drove you to cricket?
I played field hockey since I was 4 yours old. My brother, two years older than me, started to play cricket when he was 6. As my mum had to drive him to all training and games, I was there as well! Most of the time they asked me to join, and that is where my cricket journey started. From that moment onward, I combined hockey and cricket. At my club back home, there were not a lot of girls, so I played in a boys team: starting from the Under 9’s till Under 17’s!

4. Who were your cricket role model / inspiration whilst growing up?
During a certain period we lived in Cape Town for a while, and we always watched the Proteas playing cricket. In that team, Jacques Kallis was my favorite player. (maybe because our surnames are nearly the same)

5. Back then how did you cope up with your studies / education / other commitments along with cricket?
For a long period of time I played hockey on a high level too. Combining two sports was always a bit of a challenge. As it was difficult attending all training sessions, and study as well, I went to a special school where I got more freedom to train and go abroad for games and tournaments. Last year I finished school which gave me the opportunity to go to university anywhere in the world.

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6. Walk us through your Netherlands cricket journey? When and how did this happen?
When I was 14 years old, I made my debut in the Dutch National Women’s team during a European Qualifier in Rugby. From that moment on I am part of the team, and I Played already quite a lot of games. In 2015, our Dutch Squad went to Bangkok for the World Cup Qualifiers. In 2017, there was another Qualifier in Scotland. We played a good tournament and qualified for the World Cup Qualifier which is in Netherlands this month! Since 3 years, I have been playing for the Essex County Women’s team in the ECB, in both formats 50 overs and T20’s! If there is a free weekend, I try to play some club cricket in Holland!

7. What was the general perception about women’s cricket in Netherlands when you started playing? How is it now?
Women’s cricket in the Netherlands has always been very small, and there are not much opportunities. As we haven’t qualified for a World Cup in a long time, there are only a few games a year against European teams. Hopefully these things will change soon. The KNCB is trying to get more girls involved in the game. Hopefully this will bring us some good new players in the future!

8. You have been in phenomenal touch with both bat and ball. What do you feel is still an area to work and improve on at a personal level?
I do like to become a more consistent bowler. I also like to work on changing to pace off the ball with for example slower balls. From a batting point of view, I do like to use the power-play more effective as I am a opening batter

9. Who would you credit the most for your journey so far and why?
Essex County gave me the opportunity to train and play with the squad in the last 3 years. Because of that a played a lot of games on a high level, which definitely made me a better player! I learned a lot from Matt Hyam (Women’s Head Coach) and the other coaches! The indoor facilities are great and they put a lot of effort in private training sessions!

10. Tell us more about the domestic structure in Netherlands cricket? How are the players selected in the national squad?
In Netherlands, there is a Women’s competition. Most of the girls play there and some of them play in a boys team. As the amount of players is not that big in Holland, girls have a good opportunity to get selected for the National team! They have to do a trial to get selected for the winter program. In the pre-season teams will be picked for the age groups!

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11. Tell us more about the current coaching staff, support staff and team administrators for Netherlands women’s cricket? How has their contribution helped Netherlands qualify for T20 global qualifiers?
The Dutch National team has a head coach and a assistant coach. Our assistant coach was joining the team as a player in our last qualifier, but because of an injury she is not playing anymore. During tournaments we do have a team manager and a physio from the men’s national squad. The stuff put a lot of effort in the team during the year, so hopefully this will bring us to a next level!

12. Qualification in the T20 World Cup 2018 could be a major turning point for women’s cricket in Netherlands. What are your views on this?
To qualify for the world cup in the West Indies next year, I think that will be a big dream for all of us!

13. Netherlands will now be locking horns with teams like Bangladesh, Ireland and Scotland in June 2018. How excited is the team to play against more experienced sides?
I think for us it will be good and necessary to play as many tournaments as possible like this, to gain experience. Playing a lot of those games will surely make us better as a team!

14. Against which team have you enjoyed playing the most and why?
Last year in Stirling at the Qualifiers, we played against the USA national team. It was them or us going to this Global Qualifier in the Netherlands next month. We beat them and I made 88 runs. That was one of my best games with the Dutch Team!

15. A lot of aspiring female cricketers have asked us this question. What are the pathway / steps to playing for Netherlands national team?
In Holland you have to make runs or take wickets in the club competitions so you will be invited for the Dutch Trials! There you can show your skills to the KNCB selectors

16. Your views on Female Cricket as a platform?
For Female Cricket around the world, it is important to get as much exposure as possible and Female Cricket as a platform will definitely help everyone to get that exposure!

Vishal Yadav, Founder & CEO at Female Cricket

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