Scotland’s Kathryn Bryce will be the youngest captain on show at the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier in the Netherlands, but don’t be fooled into thinking she’s inexperienced at international level.
The 20-year-old made her senior debut for Scotland at the age of just 13 and she has become one of her country’s most reliable performers, so much so that she was named vice-captain in 2017 before being appointed national skipper in April.
As the all-rounder embarks on her first global competition since taking on the role, she knows she will have family support close at hand, with her 18-year-old sister Sarah keeping wicket and batting in the top order.
“I’m massively proud to be captaining Scotland,” says the older Bryce. “I think it’s quite difficult sometimes to realise that it’s actually happening and I’ll probably look back on it in 10 years’ time and think it was an incredible thing to be able to do. To go out there onto the field and lead your country, it’s a great opportunity."
And what’s it like for Sarah to be captained by her older sister? “I’ve grown up playing club cricket with her all my life and she’s always been captain so I’m quite used to it. It’s nice having her in the team with me and I can always go to her with questions.
“It was great to see her play for Scotland at such a young age and I aspired to do the same. When I started playing at this level it was a way to make pressurised situations more normal, because it was just like any other game.”
The siblings admit they love batting together, never more so than during a staggering unbeaten partnership of 336 for Scotland Under 17s against Lincolnshire Under 17s in 2015. With their parents watching on, Kathryn notched 173* while Sarah scored 132*. “It was great to have that family moment together,” recalls Sarah.
Scotland come into this tournament in a positive mood having won seven of their last eight fixtures in the ECB County Championship and they will line up against Ireland, Thailand and Uganda in Group B. Kathryn is particularly looked forward to the challenge of facing Ireland.
“We’re feeling excited about that match,” she says of their second group fixture on 8 July. “We played them last summer and they beat us in those games but I think we’ve developed a lot as a T20 team over the last year so I think it will be a really exciting opportunity for us.
“We’re going to go out there and show that we’ve developed over the last year and hopefully we can come out with a win.”
First, though, Scotland will take on Uganda in Amstelveen on 7 July, knowing they can’t afford an early slip up as they bid to take one of the two remaining places at the ICC Women’s World T20.
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