‘Ferocious Fast Bowler’ Ayanda Hlubi Looks to Cement her Name as a Top Proteas Women’s Bowler 

From Bergville, KwaZulu Natal to the World … Ayanda Hlubi announced herself a top prospect in women’s bowling and the Proteas player is hoping to be at the top of the game for a long time to come. All Photos: Supplied

From Bergville in KwaZulu Natal, to the world! – Ayanda Hlubi announced herself a top prospect in women’s bowling, and the Proteas player is hoping to be at the top of her game for a long time to come.

Hlubi learned to love cricket as a young scholar at Mandlakazulu Primary School in Ntuzuma, Durban, after her curiousity earned an invite from another young cricketer. 

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She found her calling when she was selected for her U13’s team as a ‘fast bowler’, and, holding up Proteas opening bowlers Shabnim Ismail and Kagiso Rabada as icons, Hlubi is intent on becoming know as a ‘ferocious’ fast bowler! 

The budding fast bowler has not only set the pitch alight with the national team but she has enjoyed significant success with her domestic side in the KZN Dolphins, as part of the team that won the inaugural CSA Professional 1-Day Cup in 2023.

Hlubi humbly credits coach Angelique Taai for allowing her to shine in that competition, while simultaneously making sure she has her tertiary studies covered, in pursuit of her business management qualification.

The Proteas bowler shared some of her valuable time with gsport, sharing just what makes her tick as a cricketer for club and country.

Ayanda, what were your favourite sports, growing up?

“My favourite sport was cricket.”

How is it that you started playing cricket?

“There was a young girl who used to go play it and I asked her to take me with her. I went with her, and that is when I was introduced to it, and started playing it.”

How soon did you know you liked bowling, and that you’re pretty good at it?

“I knew the moment I had that ball in my hand bowling was the easiest, cause I get to hit someone with the ball, not someone hitting me with the ball. 

“I knew that I was good at it when I got selected for her U13’s team, and I was addressed as a ‘fast bowler’ and not a medium pace bowler in my age group.”

Before you became a national figure, you were selected and played for the KZN Dolphins. What was the biggest life lesson you learned when you first walked into a professional change room and walked out to bowl for your province? 

“Always put the team first, be proud to play for my country and also my province.”

What makes KZN Women a special team to play for?

“We are supportive of each other, and we care for each other.”

In a historic feat, KZN won the inaugural CSA Pro 1-Day Cup, tell us what makes coach Angelique Taai and the team a special one for you.

“Coach Taai has been an inspiration to me, she gave me opportunities to play, therefore giving me the exposure to shine and be seen by the people in Proteas setup.”

How did your family, friends, and supporters react when CSA announced you as a fully contracted player? What does this mean to you?

“They were elated and beyond happy, this was a life-changing moment for me. Fresh out of school and shortly after I found myself playing on the big stage, and touring to play against World Champions, indeed was a big step up for me!”

In a rare debut for a woman South African professional cricketer, you’ve played in a Test, an ODI, and a T20 in national colours within a year of your debut: What is it that you bring to the international setup that sets you apart from the pack?

“I bring a bit of my unique style, which comes from township flavour. I look up to a lot of the best cricketers, but I want to perform like them, and at some point surpass them, but not just in my ways, but also with my character. 

“I want to be a known ferocious fast bowler and, in a hunt to reach the pinnacle of the ICC bowling rankings –  that’s my ultimate goal.”

Tell us about your hunger to play in even more international matches for South Africa…

“I was nervous to be amongst the best players, that stage was completely different for me, but playing the 2023 U19 World Cup prepared me for such. 

“The nerves died off with each delivery bowled. I want to replicate player-of-the-match performances every time I take on the field.”

Tell us one thing that you never thought would happen, that has happened to you since you’ve become an international cricketer. How does it make you feel?

“I’ve never thought I would go overseas to play, and do what I do best and love. This was a dream come true for me – I was happy I got this recognition, which placed me in line with the best in South Africa and the world.”


Photo caption: From Bergville, KwaZulu Natal to the World … Ayanda Hlubi announced herself a top prospect in women’s bowling and the Proteas player is hoping to be at the top of the game for a long time to come. All Photos: Supplied

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