Christine, a Grade 8 pupil at Milnerton High School, is arguably just like the other girls in her class - she loves Katy Perry and singing, has a favourite subject (Geography) and is adjusting to the new environment of high school.
The difference between her and most of her friends, however, is that Christine is a star cricketer. At 13 she is the only girl in her school’s under-14 cricket team.
She also joined the Western Province under-19 squad last year and in November travelled to Durban for an inter-provincial tournament.
While in Durban, Christine took 15 wickets, five of which were in one match.
Her performance was the second best of the tournament and she gained the attention of the national squad. Unfortunately she was unable to join the team because she was too young. However, this may be for the best for Christine because her plate is already full with school and extra-curricular activities.
Christine’s mother, Lynne Tomlinson, said her daughter had so much going on. “She plays for her school’s A-team and recently has been playing for the Milnerton Women’s League. She has a full schedule.”
Tomlinson said her daughter started playing cricket at a young age, when her twin brother, Kyle, took a keen interest in the sport and began practising daily.
“Kyle got into cricket very quickly and Christine was always playing with him. Then one day she decided she would like to join the team.”
Christine joined her primary school’s all-boys cricket team and, despite her worries, Tomlinson said her daughter was never treated any differently from the other players.
“She was accepted by the boys from the start. She was well known.”
Christine’s love of cricket grew quickly and she joined Powerplay Cricket in Ottery. Her coach, Lindsay Sissing, said her skill as a bowler was remarkable, especially considering she had only been playing for about three seasons.
“She displays a high level of maturity on the pitch, even more so when you take into account her age,” he said.
Christine quickly made the A team in Grade 6 and joined the same team this year when she started high school. She plays on the team with her brother.
“She actually loves to dress up. Her school once had a dress-up day and she came as her favourite singer - Katy Perry. If you saw her you would never say she was into cricket like she is. It became a regular thing that during matches the other team would underestimate her. But she always proved them wrong.”
Before Christine can qualify for the national cricket squad she will keep fit in winter with netball and cross-country. Christine said she hoped to carry on improving her cricket skills and become the best player she could be.
“Cricket is my passion. I love cricket. In the future I just want to become a great player,” she said.
Sissing said he believed Christine would become an even greater player.
“She is totally dedicated to her sport and wants to make it into the South African side. I have no doubt that in a few years she will achieve that goal.”
Original source: Watch out Rabada, here comes Christine!