Western Province Batting Dynamo Faye Tunnicliffe in Fine Form 

Meet Faye Tunnicliffe, a gym manager, personal trainer and professional cricketer, known for her determination and skill. Her recent success, marked by consecutive centuries for Western Province in Cricket South Africa competitions, highlights her resilience and commitment in the competitive sports scene.

In this interview amid her packed schedule, Tunnicliffe shares her journey in the world of cricket—a passion that goes beyond the game. From enduring intense pre-season training to experiencing the joy of hard work translating into on-field accomplishments, She openly discusses the challenges, victories, and aspirations that define her career.

She sheds light on her national ambitions and the impact of the growth of women’s domestic cricket in South Africa, revealing a story of perseverance and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. Beyond her cricketing feats, Faye emphasises the importance of character, aiming to be not just a standout athlete but also a supportive teammate and role model for emerging cricketers. 

Join us as we explore Faye Tunnicliffe’s journey—a narrative of determination, ambition, and the profound influence of unwavering dedication both on and off the cricket field.She also tells us who her favourite cricketers are. 

Faye, congratulations on back to back centuries in the CSA competitions, what pleased you most about those performances?

Thank you so much! I think these performances meant a lot to me because it has been a tough year, and the pre-season prep and fitness was long, and sometimes gruelling, so I’m just really glad to see the hard work is paying off. 

What are your national ambitions and how will performances like these help you catch the selectors eye again?

I debuted in 2018 and was lucky enough to play a couple of tours since then, my last one being in India 2021. The goal is always to play at the highest level and represent my country. I’ve grown up a bit now and I look forward to the prospect. I think consistent performance are always a good way to catch the selectors eye’s. I can control the performances, but not the selection. Right now I am just enjoying the journey. 

How would you describe the state of women’s domestic cricket in South Africa and what has been the one advancement that has changed the game at this level?

Women’s cricket is on the rise and is definitely a space to watch at the moment. Being fully professional now is a great way to create a higher standard for the Domestic Structure, because now it is a full time job, and there are no excuses for not going all-in.

An example of how its advancing is seeing a crowd at Super Sport Park this past weekend where spectators had to pay for tickets. It is so exciting that people are putting money forward to support the women’s game! 

How much have pro domestic contracts elevated the women’s game in South Africa?

The contracts have undoubtedly changed lives – myself included. For years I’ve dreamt of calling myself a pro-athlete, and now I get to wake up everyday and live that dream, without having to work other jobs. These contracts create more competition, and make the selection pool for the SA team bigger, because now there are a whole lot more full-time cricketers to choose from. 

What has been your biggest cricket highlight to date?

I’m beyond privileged to have represented my country, so my debut in Barbados is right up there. Recently I scored a century at Newlands Cricket Ground, and that has got to be in my top three highlights. It is the most beautiful ground in the world, and my home ground. My all time favourite highlight has got to be singing the national anthem in the 2018 World Cup in St Lucia. That was so special. 

There are opportunities galore for women’s cricketers worldwide, has anything caught your eye or is there a league that you would love to play in?

I would love to play in the Women’s IPL one day. It is such a prestigious tournament for the men, and hopefully the Women’s IPL will grow just as big. The Big Bash has always been a favourite of mine to watch. I can honestly say that I would love to play in all of them.  

Who are the women cricketers that inspire you, and why?

Ellyse Perry is an inspiration, mostly because of her work ethic. Her athletic ability, as well as cricketing skills are things that inspire me to be better. The same thing can be said for Laura Wolvaardt. She is one of the fittest people I know, and out-works everyone.

She is always pushing to be the fittest, and the strongest that she can be. I admire athletes that take care of their physical well-being, as well as their skillset. 

What is your advice to young cricketers who want to make a career out of women’s cricket?

My advice would be to never stop believing in yourself. Hardship and adversity is inevitable, but as long as you believe that you can do it, and put the work in, no one can stop you.

Cricket is a genuine career path for ladies in this country now, and we need young girls to be hungry for that top spot, so that we can all grow from strength to strength. Importantly, also thank your parents for their efforts. None of this would be possible without them. 

What else aside from cricket keeps you busy?

Outside of cricket I also manage the gym at Kelvin Grove, where I am also a personal trainer. I love the environment, and it is a good excuse to step away from cricket for a bit. I am also studying sports nutrition at the moment, which helps immensely when it comes to fuelling myself for training. Besides that, I enjoy reading, being outdoors, or spending time with people who fill my cup. 

What is your biggest cricket ambition?

Who I am as a person is important to me. I want to be one of the best players in the world, but I also want to be a good teammate, a coachable player, and to be someone that teams want in their changing room. Being remembered as a solid person would be the biggest accomplishment, in my opinion. But one of the best in the world is a massive ambition.

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