Malikah Hamzah: The 11-year-old girl who is being hailed as a cricketing superstar
While there is often a tendency to hype up young cricketers who show even a bit of potential, the cricketing world seems to have acquired a real gem in the form of Malikah Hamzah. After all, the 11-year-old South African girl is a promising leg-spinner who already plays for a senior’s women’s team in South Africa.
Hamzah, who is of Indian descent, also has the honour of being the youngest cricketer ever to have played against a senior international side in a T20 match. Not only that; in just her second over with the ball in a match against Zimbabwe, she castled the middle stump of the opening batter with a brilliant delivery that turned sharply after pitching on off stump. Interestingly, her action is said to possess an uncanny resemblance to former South African chinaman Paul Adams.
While Hamzah’s cricketing talent is obvious, having recently become the first female cricketer to receive a Royal Club sponsorship deal with Slazenger, her abilities are not just restricted to cricket as she was also awarded a professional hockey contract at the tender age of nine, making her the youngest professional hockey player in South Africa.
Her coach, Kobus Rhoode, has already said that he foresees an extremely bright future for Hamzah with she definitely having the potential to play for the South African women’s team sometime in the future.
With the sight of girls playing cricket still being quite a rarity, Hamzah spends a majority of her time playing with boys. Yet, she is far better than boys of her age, illustrated by the fact that she won the best batsman, best bowler and best all-rounder awards during the 2013-14 season.
Hamzah informs that she receives quite a bit of sledging while playing with the boys. When she’s batting, the wicketkeeper might tell the bowler, “Get my girlfriend out”. Conversely, when she picks up wickets with the ball, her teammates patronisingly say to the opposition, “You got bowled by a girl.”