Marizanne Kapp, the South Africa all-rounder, reached the milestone of 100 one-day internationals for the country, against Pakistan on Monday, 6 May, and said it was childhood dream come true.
Kapp became just the third South African woman to reach the milestone, after Mignon du Preez and Trisha Chetty, when she was named in the side for the first of three ICC Women's Championship ODIs against Pakistan at Senwes Park.
The 29-year-old made her ODI debut in the 2009 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup against Australia, and has since become one of the team's most reliable performers.
She boasts 109 wickets in the format at an average of 24.11, and also has 1708 runs at a respectable 26.68, including a high-score of 102*, which came against Pakistan in Cuttack during the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2013.
Kapp was understandably excited about the prospect of reaching the milestone, and said a win would sweeten the celebrations. She was also pleased to note the rapid progress women's cricket on the whole has undergone since her early days.
"It’s a massive honour and privilege," said Kapp before her 100th game. "It’s something you dream about when you’re younger. My first dream was to just play for my country, never mind a hundred ODIs. It’s especially special when you look at where we first started to where women’s cricket is now. I’m really excited for the match, and hopefully it goes our way.
“We are gathered here today, to celebrate the 100th ODI of @kappie777” - @zella15j 🙌😅💃🎉 #Watch to see the very unique way that the #ProteasWomen show their appreciation for #Kappie100 😅. 🇿🇦#WeAreMore #AlwaysRising pic.twitter.com/HZFKzwLrQN— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 6, 2019
"The way I first started off, coming into this team, I was a bit nervous and I lacked a bit in training, if I look at the way I train now. Where we are now as a team is really special. I’ve made lots of special memories along the way, the biggest one being when we reached the semi-final of the World Cup in England, and hopefully, before I retire, we can do it again."
A century of ODIs hasn't tempered her ambitions. Kapp still has a number of goals she wants to tick off, both at a personal level and for the team, chief among them being playing in front of her home crowd. "It’s everyone’s dream to win a World Cup, so that would be number one on my list, but personally, I think batting wise, I can still offer a lot more to this team," she said. "Hopefully, this year, I can turn that around and contribute a bit more.
"It’s a bit sad that I’ve played 100 ODIs, and I’ve never played a single game at home (in Port Elizabeth). I’ve been playing for South Africa for the last ten years and I’ve not played one game at home so not everyone has seen me play, but hopefully in the near future I can play one game at home before it’s time to retire."