"I always enjoyed cricket growing up, but never thought I could get to the level where I am now," says New Zealand leg-spinner
- Erin Bermingham is set for her ICC Women’s World Cup debut with New Zealand
- The leg-spinner balances playing cricket with a career in the police force
- New Zealand plays Sri Lanka on the opening day of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 at the Bristol County Ground on Saturday
Cricketer by day, police officer by night. New Zealand's Erin Bermingham seemingly skipped a page in the rulebook when it came to being a professional sportswoman.
But if there were any question as to whether the White Fern turned crime fighter felt more enjoyment on or off the field, the answer is simple.
“The most fortunate thing for me is that I really am living my dream, twice. Neither one is a chore,” she explained.
“I’m getting enjoyment out of every day when I’m able to do my two jobs which is fantastic for me, something I’m incredible lucky to have.”
It was, perhaps coincidentally, an occasion while playing cricket which first drew Bermingham to the force.
Part of the New Zealand team in Christchurch in 2011, the now 29-year-old and the squad were in a hotel as an earthquake hit the city.
Having wanted to be in the police since aged four, the leg-break bowler saw the work the force were doing helping people to safety and immediately wanted to play a part in their heroism, triggering the start of a multi-pronged life.
Now the time comes for a few, deserved weeks off for the biggest challenge of all: the ICC Women’s World Cup.
Bermingham added: “I’ve been playing cricket for many, many years. I always enjoyed it growing up, but never thought I could get to the level where I am now, it was always a dream.
“For that to lead to the ICC Women’s World Cup is so special, they are the tournaments you want to be a part of so much.
“Then the police came along a few years ago and I’ve managed to work them both at the same time, somehow.
“Police work is not always during the day so in the morning I can deal with cricket and then I can have the afternoon for my shift, so they can work out together, and they've been very supportive of me.
“I’ve had to become a lot more self-sufficient, work a bit more on my own or at least have more organisation within myself.
“I have close contact with coaches and because I can still work during the day, I have them available, and there are times where it does fall perfectly and I can work with the girls which is just amazing.
“It’s great to be in touch with them.”
Self-dependency has become a key part of Bermingham’s on- and off-field development, yet the feeling of meeting up with the squad is still enough to reignite the buzz with each net or fielding drill.
And with the women’s game on a constant path of forward progression – ICC has a long-term commitment to the global growth of the women’s game – there has hardly been a more exciting time for Bermingham and the White Ferns to be on the world stage.
The leg-spinner also continues to excel in the dual role, averaging just 22.26 with the ball in ODIs, as she prepares to make her ICC WWC bow.
But with history behind her, including becoming bowler of the year for Kent in England in 2014, the feeling heading into the tournament is one of excitement more than trepidation for the bowler.
“We’ve been working hard for this for a few weeks, few months, probably even a few years,” continued the bowler, who took a four-wicket haul at Lord’s in 2010. “We’re all really looking forward to seeing what we can do and hopefully we can deliver a good competition.
“I love the environment in England, the support, spectators and officials make it incredibly enjoyable to come and play over there.
“It should be a great challenge, we’re keen to give it what we’ve got and hopefully that can be enough for a successful campaign.”