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Marizanne Kapp is basically the Proteas' Wonder Woman

Published Jun 28, 2022


Cape Town - South Africa is accustomed to producing sporting warriors. Men and women who defy the odds, overcome obstacles and climb the highest mountains to achieve their glory.

Siya Kolisi, Kgothatso “KG” Montjane, Thembi Kgatlana, Caster Semenya and Ernst van Dyk are the headline acts.

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Please now add Marizanne Kapp to the list. The Proteas' all-rounder is currently shattering the ceiling for women's cricket in this country - and in the world - almost every time she steps on the turf these days.

Kapp is a global superstar. A woman that young girls all around the world aspire to be. She is an all-action package that takes the new ball before returning with willow in hand to smash to it all parts. Basically the Proteas' Wonder Woman.

It is a destiny she would never have imagined for herself growing up. A naturally talented athlete Kapp excelled in track and field at DF Malherbe High School in Gqeberha. She played cricket throughout, but it was "just for fun" and was instructed to get a "real job" after school.

But Kapp persevered. And today we're thankful she did.

Her story, though, is much more than being part of the first group of professional women cricketers in South Africa.

Although still only 32 years old, she's been playing international cricket for 13 years already. The last two with a chronic heart condition.

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It is so severe that she's been forced to miss a T20 World Cup semi-final in Sydney and retire mid-innings during an Australian Big Bash encounter.

During this period she has also contracted Covid-19 on four occasions. The first time was the worst. She could hardly walk. And it prevented her from having a medical procedure on her heart.

But yet at the same time Kapp has enjoyed the most prolific period of her career. Since January 2019, she averages 49.50 in ODIs, compared to an overall average of 29.60, and picked up her maiden "five-for" during an excellent World Cup campaign in New Zealand earlier this year.

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Add in her Player of the Match performances in the Big Bash final and The Hundred final at Lord's last year and she's simply on a different planet.

Kapp is fully aware that her cricket journey is fast drawing to a close. She still wants to be a mother and grow her family with wife Dane van Niekerk.

But she's not done just yet. There's still a T20 World Cup to be won on home soil next year.

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In fact, there's still a Test match in Taunton to be won right now. The Proteas Women's team don't play many of them, highlighted by the fact that Kapp and Lizelle Lee are the only survivors of the last Test back in 2014.

She's given her team an almighty chance with a record 150 on Monday. An innings that can sit proudly alongside any great Test innings played by a Proteas Men's counterpart.

But if you thought Marizanne Kapp's motivation was for a chair at a men's dining table, then you would be grossly mistaken.

She is head of her own table. And its to be applauded.