SCORES of youngsters will relate to Cate Pedersen's account of why they got into a sport they thrive in and enjoy now.

"I just got sick of watching her play," says Pedersen when asked why she got into cricket.

The 14-year-old used to spend what seemed to be endless hours watching elder sister, Maggie, now 16, playing for the Nelson Park Primary School in Napier after school on Fridays during summer.

Not satisfied with a passive role Pedersen's parents, especially father Greg, and mother Annabel, ushered her into a Milo outfit when she was in Year 1.

Advertisement

That 6-year-old has now evolved into a cricketer who has White Ferns ambitions and if her recent results are anything to go by, it's safe to say she's on the right track.

Last week Pedersen was named the MVP at the Cricket Express national under-15 girls' tournament at Victoria Park, Whanganui, as a member of the Central Districts age-group team who finished runners-up under captain Saffron Wilson, of Nelson.

Not only did the Year 10-bound Napier Girls' High School pupil collect a bat, cellphone and watch but she also pocketed the tourney sponsors' $1000 voucher as the best bowler.

"I can swing the ball," says the right-arm medium pacer and, girls, you had better believe it.

Pedersen leaves it until last to mention during the interview that she claimed a hattrick in the 15-wicket haul.

It came in the third game, a 32-run victory over Wellington, of the tourney that ran from January 9-12.

The hattrick - caught, caught, bowled - came in the last balls off 3.4 overs which ended the game for her to finish with her best bowling figures of a five-wicket bag for nine runs.

Under former CD Hinds player and Dutch international Esther Lanser, of Whanganui, the U15s played six 30-over games, losing twice to undisputed champions Auckland in pool play as well as the final.

Advertisement

They crushed Otago first up by 10 wickets, edged past Northern Districts by three wickets but succumbed by five wickets to Auckland in the fourth game.

CD overwhelmed an NZ Invitational U15s by nine wickets in a tourney where Canterbury were conspicuous by their absence.

Auckland made a seven-wicket statement in the final to show they were the rightful heirs to the throne.

For Pedersen, who had fellow Bay players Molly Sothergill (Karamu High School) and Flora Devonshire (Iona College) in the mix, it was a memorable tourney after she capped it off as the only CD player to make the cut for the paper New Zealand team.

When she first contemplated playing the country's No 1 summer code, Pedersen, the little nipper, reached out for a ball first.

"I really liked bowling," she says, revealing she harboured fears of going out as a batsman and ... err ... the hard ball which became customary when she was in Year 4.

The transition from soft ball to a hard one wasn't a smooth transition but it helped that her elder sister's senior team at Nelson Park Primary was shy of players and she got called up to make up the numbers.

"I think I got to bowl but I didn't bat that day," she says.

Pedersen's father gave her throw downs and the rest is history.

She is no mug with the bat, having amassed 101 runs at the tourney and registering the best personal knock of an unbeaten 51 retired as an opener against the NZ Invitational team.

"It's not so bad [facing the red ball]," says Pedersen. "You get some bruises but it's not bad."

She thanks Bay cricket stalwart Harry Findlay, her Milo coach, and Bay women's representative coach, Bob Morgan, for helping hone her skills over the years.