Emerging talent recognised

TEAMMATES AND OPPONENTS: Kayley Knight (left) and Tayla Hollis will play for the Northern Spirit’s A team against their Auckland counterparts in Auckland tomorrow. They will be opponents in the Northern Premier League women’s cricket competition, though. Knight will play for Velocity and Hollis, for Power.
Picture by Liam Clayton
OFF THE LEGS: Kayley Knight bats for the Northern Districts under-15 team in the national tournament. Picture supplied

Poverty Bay women’s cricket representatives Tayla Hollis and Kayley Knight will play for the Northern Spirit’s A team against their Auckland countertparts in a 50-over cricket game in Auckland tomorrow.

Hollis, who plays for Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates in the Poverty Bay men’s senior competition, is a member of the Spirit squad who play in the women’s domestic competition but did not make the playing 12 for the opening Twenty20 game in Christchurch last week

It is the 18-year-old’s third season with the Spirit.

“I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game; it’s another chance to push for a place in the Spirit team,” she said.

Knight, a 15-year-old Gisborne Girls’ High School student, is in her first season with the A team, a squad of emerging players.

“I’m not ready for the Spirit team at this stage; that’s probably another two or three years away, but this weekend will be good experience,” Knight said.

She and two other Poverty Bay cricketers — Emma Hayes and Lucy McHugh — will play for the Velocity team in the Northern Premier League, which starts on November 11 in Hamilton.

“I’m excited but will probably be more nervous closer to the game,” Knight said.

“Once it starts I’m sure I’ll be OK.”

A batter and medium-pace bowler, Knight says she prefers 50-over games to T20.

“I’m an opener who likes to get in and build an innings rather than an attacking batter, which is what you need in T20 games,” she said.

Although she is not sure what she wants to do when she leaves school, “apart from maybe wanting to be involved in sport”, Knight’s dream is to play for the White Ferns.

“Any time we (Kayley, her mother Mel and their Poverty Bay teammates) get a chance to watch them, we go along.”

But for now, the teenager is focused on doing well tomorrow and on her next goals — “making the Northern Districts under-18 team, then the u21 team”.

She hopes to hone her skills in the Northern Premier League, where she will come up against her mother and Bay teammates Courtney Hayes and Hollis.

Mel is player-coach of the Sonic team, who include Hayes. Hollis will play for Power, who won the 40-over decider against Velocity last season.

With no women’s cricket competition in Gisborne, Kayley Knight plays for the Bollywood Stars in the junior colts’ T15 Blast during the week and the 30-over competition on Saturday.

“At some stage I might look at playing for one of the men’s teams in the Hope Cup (Senior B competition),” she said.

Her commitments with Poverty Bay, the Spirit’s A team, Velocity, and the Poverty Bay team for the Northern Districts secondary schools’ tournament in Tauranga in December entail a lot of travelling, which means expense.

That has been the cue for Kaiaponi general manager Scott Wilson to arrange sponsorship.

“The Kaiaponi sponsorship includes help with travelling expenses, accommodation, tournament fees and cricket gear,” Kayley Knight said.

“I’d outgrown all of my cricket gear and needed a complete new set for this season.”

Poverty Bay women’s cricket representatives Tayla Hollis and Kayley Knight will play for the Northern Spirit’s A team against their Auckland countertparts in a 50-over cricket game in Auckland tomorrow.

Hollis, who plays for Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates in the Poverty Bay men’s senior competition, is a member of the Spirit squad who play in the women’s domestic competition but did not make the playing 12 for the opening Twenty20 game in Christchurch last week

It is the 18-year-old’s third season with the Spirit.

“I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game; it’s another chance to push for a place in the Spirit team,” she said.

Knight, a 15-year-old Gisborne Girls’ High School student, is in her first season with the A team, a squad of emerging players.

“I’m not ready for the Spirit team at this stage; that’s probably another two or three years away, but this weekend will be good experience,” Knight said.

She and two other Poverty Bay cricketers — Emma Hayes and Lucy McHugh — will play for the Velocity team in the Northern Premier League, which starts on November 11 in Hamilton.

“I’m excited but will probably be more nervous closer to the game,” Knight said.

“Once it starts I’m sure I’ll be OK.”

A batter and medium-pace bowler, Knight says she prefers 50-over games to T20.

“I’m an opener who likes to get in and build an innings rather than an attacking batter, which is what you need in T20 games,” she said.

Although she is not sure what she wants to do when she leaves school, “apart from maybe wanting to be involved in sport”, Knight’s dream is to play for the White Ferns.

“Any time we (Kayley, her mother Mel and their Poverty Bay teammates) get a chance to watch them, we go along.”

But for now, the teenager is focused on doing well tomorrow and on her next goals — “making the Northern Districts under-18 team, then the u21 team”.

She hopes to hone her skills in the Northern Premier League, where she will come up against her mother and Bay teammates Courtney Hayes and Hollis.

Mel is player-coach of the Sonic team, who include Hayes. Hollis will play for Power, who won the 40-over decider against Velocity last season.

With no women’s cricket competition in Gisborne, Kayley Knight plays for the Bollywood Stars in the junior colts’ T15 Blast during the week and the 30-over competition on Saturday.

“At some stage I might look at playing for one of the men’s teams in the Hope Cup (Senior B competition),” she said.

Her commitments with Poverty Bay, the Spirit’s A team, Velocity, and the Poverty Bay team for the Northern Districts secondary schools’ tournament in Tauranga in December entail a lot of travelling, which means expense.

That has been the cue for Kaiaponi general manager Scott Wilson to arrange sponsorship.

“The Kaiaponi sponsorship includes help with travelling expenses, accommodation, tournament fees and cricket gear,” Kayley Knight said.

“I’d outgrown all of my cricket gear and needed a complete new set for this season.”

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