Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
The tag “teenage sensation” is carelessly thrown around when a teenager does well in a certain sporting discipline, but at just 16 years old, a young all-rounder has become a vital cog of the Zimbabwe women’s cricket national team and is on course to writing her name in stone as one of the greatest female cricket players that the country has ever produced.
Born in Chitungwiza, young Kelis Ndhlovu has had cricket lovers and followers in all the corners of the country singing her name due to her prowess in the field. She was one of the best players for the Lady Chevrons in their inspiring but abortive attempt to make a maiden appearance at the World Cup.
The young all-rounder told Chronicle Sports that she took up the game at primary school after her friend convinced her to try the sport. Little did she know that a few years down the line she would be a celebrated sportswoman.
“I started cricket because of my best friend in primary school (St Aidan Primary School), her mother wanted her to play cricket so we joined together in grade three. Unfortunately, she dropped out but I kept on pushing,” said Kelis.
With just 15 T20 matches under her name in international cricket, Kelis has scored 285 runs at an average of 23, 75 and a high score of 58 not out and having taken 15 wickets in 13 innings, including a career best of 3-15, Mohit Shah the Associate Editor at Women’s CricZone asked: “Is there anything Kelis Ndhlovu can’t do at the moment?”
Kelis, who dreams of playing in some of the world’s best cricket leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL), said being one of the best players for the Lady Chevrons in the recently ended T20 World Cup qualifiers in the UAE was a dream come true.
“Being one of the key players has always been a dream since I was young, so I’m chasing my dreams,” she said.
The Lady Chevrons fell agonisingly short of fulfilling their World Cup dream after they lost their make-or-break semi-final match against Ireland by just four runs. Kelis told Chronicle Sports that the loss was a painful lesson.
“It hurts, but on the other hand it was a big lesson for the whole team, so I think we just need to pull our socks up and work a little bit harder.”
The teenage sensation has since joined the Under 19s camp as they are preparing for a tour to South Africa and next year’s inaugural Women’s Under 19 T20 World Cup. The young Lady Chevrons left the country on Thursday for South Africa where they will play five preparatory T20 matches.
“The preparations are going well and I’m looking forward to performing the way I did in recent tournaments and the best we have to do as a team is enjoying,” Kelis said.
Lady Chevrons Under 19 coach Trevor Phiri said having Kelis in the team was massive due to her international experience and exposure.
Mohit Shah through a Twitter post said: “Watch out for Kelis Ndhlovu at the U19 World Cup next year.”
Kelis’s busy cricket schedule means she has no time to go to school. She makes use of private tutors. Whenever she is out on tours, Kelis keeps up with her school work by having online classes.
Kelis picked up the most wickets during the World Cup qualifiers, finishing with 11 wickets in five innings, with her career best of 3-15 coming against Ireland.
“I just want to say, believe in yourself and never doubt that you can’t do anything because nothing is impossible and the best thing is to never forget to pray,” she said.
Journalist, Brian Goredema described the youngster as “A national treasure.”
Article Source: The Chronicle