2007 November gSTAR: Cri-Zelda Brits

by | Nov 1, 2007

They say
first impressions last and it’s a saying that rings true when you meet
Cri-Zelda Brits. She is as cool as a cucumber, and is confident in her ability
as a leader.

So, its no
surprise that the prolific 23-year-old from Rustenburg in the North West was named captain of the national
women’s cricket team, in April this year, a role she carries off almost
effortlessly.

Cri-Zelda,
who works as a Sales Executive, says it’s hard maintaining a healthy balanced
lifestyle, but representing her country is inspiration enough for her to pull
her weight and get her training done.

To help keep
her fitness levels up, she also plays hockey, squash, and action cricket, and
her favourite spectator sports include rugby and athletics.

She gives Twenty20
cricket the thumbs up, saying it has improved the games of many cricketers.

Cri-Zelda is
busy preparing for one of her biggest challenges to date as captain; qualifying
for the 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia.

 The team
travel to the subcontinent later this month for World Cup qualifiers, which involve
hosts Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Papua
New Guinea, Bermuda, Ireland, Scotland,
and the Netherlands.
The Proteas captain believes her team has what it takes to win the qualifying
tournament.

She rates Australia, New
Zealand and England among the top three women’s
cricket sides in the world, but she also believes that her South African team
has grown in strength, both mentally and physically.

The Proteas
captain, who is regarded as one of the fittest women’s cricketers in South Africa, says
her favourite cricketers are Australians Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee, and her
role models are her parents, who never judge her achievements.

She told gsport
that her greatest ambition is to win a World Cup!

Introducing
our November gSTAR: Star Proteas captain, Cri-Zelda
Brits!

  How are you enjoying your role as captain of the
national women’s cricket team?

It’s been
such an awesome honour and pleasure to captain this side.  The girls have really been working hard on
all aspects of their game so it has made my job as the "new" captain a lot
easier, it also helped me to settle into the role much quicker.

You head to Pakistan this November for World
Cup qualifiers. How confident are you feeling about the team’s chances?

I have no doubt
in my mind that my side has what it takes to win this tournament and qualify
for the World Cup. We are by far a much better and stronger side both mentally
and physically, and I think that all the players realizes the importance of
having to qualify for the World Cup

Which is currently the best women’s cricket team in
the world and what makes them so good?

Personally I
still think Australia is
number one, although New Zealand
and England
are right up there with them.  These
teams are very disciplined in all aspects of the game and they’ve grown tremendously
in their skills and physical strength areas. 
This has had a huge impact on their game and has helped them be more
consistent in their performances.

How do you feel about Twenty20 cricket and its role
in the international game?

I’ve had this
question quite a couple of times in the last year and as a player I can’t
emphasize enough the impact it has on our limited over game.  You need a lot of skill to improvise in
twenty20 cricket and therefore it has improved many cricketers in general.  It brought back the excitement factor into
our game; people just love to watch it.

What do you do aside from playing cricket? Are you
studying, working, and how do you maintain balance in your life?

I am a Sales
Executive, and I work long hours, sometimes it is hard to maintain a healthy
balance.  But representing my country is
enough inspiration for me to pull my weight and get all my training done. You
have to listen to your body as well so that you don’t drain it completely. Once
you’re in a habit, it gets a lot easier.

Who are your favourite cricketers and why?

There are so
many fine cricketers in the world today but if I had to narrow it down I’d go
with Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee. 
Ponting is a great captain; he backs his team and he’s a fine batsman
with an amazing strike rate that’s just exciting to watch.  I also love to watch Lee bowl; he is strong and
fast and for somebody that bowls at 150km/hour, he’s got great control. To me
he’s a true example of what a fast bowler should be like.

What are your other favourite sports?

I love
hockey, I still play for my club in Rustenburg and provincial country districts
hockey for Northen’s when there is time. I like to watch rugby and athletics
and I play Action Cricket as well.

How do you keep your fitness levels up during the
off-season?

Besides the
fitness programs that we have to follow during off season I do as much active
rest as I can.  I normally vary it
between hockey, squash and Action Cricket during the winter.

How do you relax away from the game?

I like to just
be at home, watch a DVD and spend time with my friends and family.

What is your advice to young girls who dream of
representing SA in cricket?

If you dream
it you can achieve it.  With hard work
and perseverance you can do whatever you put your mind to, just never give up
on yourself or your goals and more important, don’t let anyone stand in the way
of it.

What needs to be done to improve the state of women’s
cricket in South Africa?

I think if we
could get to a stage where all the age groups (like the boys) can participate
in school competitions, we’d solve a lot of our problems in our flow through to
our senior cricket. The more cricket girls can play from a young age the better
we’d get at our senior levels.

gsport strives to celebrate femininity. How would you
define femininity and what role does it play in your life?

I think it’s
essential for every single woman on this earth to feel that they have a right
and reason to this life.  It’s so
important that we stand with one another and support the things that we as
women do and achieve. 

Who are your role models?

My parents;
they are both very loving, hard working, down-to-earth people that never judged
me on my achievements but rather praised me for my attempts.  I’ve never seen my dad not get up for work,
or be late because of some excuse and my mother will always try to help anyone
in needs that she meets. These are all qualities I try to live up to and I’d
like my children to have one day.

What motivates and inspires you?

My Creator,
the ability to use all my limbs and senses and also the privilege to get
opportunities to see the world and meet new people. All my friends and family
that believe in me and that have helped me throughout my life.

What is your greatest ambition?

I’d have to
say to win a World Cup, and if it is the next one it will be a bonus.

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About the Author:

<a href="https://gsport.co.za/members/kass_naidoo/" target="_self">Kass Naidoo</a>

Kass Naidoo

Passionate sports broadcaster and founder of gsport4girls

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