Indoor-outdoor flow for cricketing prodigy

NZ Herald:

Skye Bowden is proving equally adept at both indoor and outdoor cricket.

The 15-year-old Pakuranga College year 10 student is coming off a stellar winter indoor cricket season.

The highlight was picking up the MVP award from the New Zealand Under 22 team’s series with Australia last month in Port Macquarie. Her form with both the bat and the gloves as keeper was top notch. But perhaps most impressive is the fact she only took up indoor cricket last year. Her rise has been exponential.

It all means she is pencilled in for more big tournaments in the next two years, the Under 22 indoor cricket World Cup in Dubai being the focal point in July 2017.

She is also in line for the 2018 Under 18 World Cup, in which she could captain the team, a rare experience for the unassuming teen.

“I guess I have the knowledge but I’ve always been a younger player, so it would be nice to be a senior player then,” she says.

Mentored by former New Zealand indoor keeper Jess Ramage, Bowden says her first experience travelling abroad last month was a rewarding one, although she had to celebrate with a lemonade while the older players drank something stronger.

“It was a really good experience, quite intense,” says Bowden of the five-match test series. The MVP award was a major surprise to her.

During winter, she plays on Saturdays in the Super League for the Pakuranga-based Eastern Pharaohs, plus with the men in a Monday night social league, which runs over
summer, too.

“The men are a lot stronger when they bowl or hit the ball, so it’s more of a challenge,” she says. “I like playing against people older than me and with a lot more experience. I find that challenge really helps me with my cricket.”

Her wicket-keeping is a facet of the game she is still learning, and she professes to enjoying a trot in the field. She’s scored 132 not out for her school and also delivers useful medium-pacers.

Bowden is already an old hand at outdoor cricket, where she started at the Howick-Pakuranga club at the age of five. She has risen to the premier women’s ranks, while she plays for the Pakuranga College girls in the Senior B grade on Wednesday afternoons in T20. They are at home to Botany Down this afternoon, but have designs on joining the big guns such as EGGS, Glendowie, Avondale and St Kentigern in the near future.

Skye has goals of playing for the Auckland Hearts and White Ferns, not to mention the NZ women’s indoor team. She has made a fair start on her cricketing journey.

By Campbell Burnes

Picture / Greg Bowker