Marizanne Kapp: The fire of the Proteas Bowling

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By March 2019, Marizanne Kapp would have completed a full decade of playing international cricket. Interestingly, she would, by then, have turned only 29.
Now 29 seems an interesting number actually. Another year and you’re into your 30s
It may not be wrong to suggest that when one approaches 30, it seems one’s nearer to the peak of both performance and physical fitness.
By this time, one’s already well settled in a role having established a certain presence.

What Marizanne Kapp brings to the Proteas?

Marizanne has a nice, high-arm action and can generate movement off the pitch  (Image: Cricket365.com)

Marizanne, who happens to be a regular feature and across formats for her side seems to be going this way
It’s the years ahead and what one manages to achieve therein that helps provide an emulsion to the coating of a rich colour with which one paints the cricketing canvas.
Marizanne Kapp brings more passion to her team and provides an induced spark that further ignites the Proteas fire.
It is evident in greenish flames she exudes each time a timber is crushed, a wicket is sent flying, a keeper is given some effort behind the stump in sending the opposing batswoman on the long way back.
And each time Marizanne Kapp continues in undulating rhythm in that hoppy, rhythmic run-up to the popping crease, she signals the intent that she’s has a tussle to engage over the batswomen with. It’s both a challenge she finds herself proud to be a part of and a matter of responsibility for her South Africa.

No theatrics; pure passion

Marizanne Kapp holds several records under her name

There may be signs of aggression; of that dismal look on the face; but even in events such as missed opportunity or whether the ball only fractionally misses the stump, it goes on to accentuate the emotion that Kapp brings to her South African unit.
It’s more than a team. It’s a close-knit unit that functions as a tricky clique of multi-faceted cricketers whose job is to compete relentlessly and eschew the wayward questions that they don’t feel the need for entertaining: “why is the Women’s game not yet as popular as the men’s version or who is the superstar of the South African unit or the most popular player?”
For a nation that prides itself on representing the rainbow colours, each colour brings a fascinating strength, each shade empowers the Protean collective.

Her record-breaking spree

Marizanne Kapp bowling in a match (Image: SACricketmag)

This feeling of being one among a core team is a sight that’s implicit in the right-arm medium pacer’s craft. It personifies the trials and tribulations of being Marizanne Kapp, the woman who has against her name the feat of bowling 80 maidens and 2 for-fours.
When Marizanne contests, she doesn’t contest alone; she brings a variety of feelings that, once seen from the Protean Kaleidoscope, signify the importance of fast bowling to her and in turn, of her passion to contribute.
It was evident back then when as a newbie, she went for 8 an over from 3 against a cruel-looking Australia back in 2009. She wasn’t the happiest soul that day. She took every single step with precision, focus and balance at their marriageable best as she went on to take South Africa to a win in the first ODI itself against the West Indies at Barbados, just hours ago.
There wasn’t an unhappy soul that day at Bridgetown as this earnest contestant leapfrogged a long mile and crossed the 100-wicket mark, stopping that day at 102.
Having proved her presence is of paramount importance to the Proteas Women; being among the two leading strike bowlers who happen to share the new white-ball, one cannot imagine Marizanne today minus the ball in her hand in the Green camp.
Her’s are the tiny mutant sparks at times when the flow of fire on the 22 yards isn’t voluminous by her usual high standards.

And here’s the best part about Marizanne Kapp

Marizanne Kapp celebrates after umpire gives a decision in her favour (Image: BBC)

With 9 years of playing constant cricket, the right-armer, who hails from Port Elizabeth proves that neither her penchant for maintaining keen fitness has left her, nor has the pace bereft her zingy action.
Going at around late 120s and early 130s is usual for the medium pacer who cherishes a feisty contest with the world’s best. Truth be told, between Marizanne Kapp, the batswoman and the ball, it’s often the latter two that appear flustered.
This doesn’t imply she doesn’t go for runs. 2017 World Cup may not have been the most ideal by her standards. She was part of a Proteas line-up that was hammered by India earlier this year.
But not the one to relent under pressure, neither the one who cherishes the needless dependence on verbatim, Kapp bounced back nicely during the one-dayers against Bangladesh and during the tour to England.

Marizanne Kapp’s importance to the current unit

But for a team like South Africa that’s finely balanced between the guile of its spinners and the promise of pacers, including Shabnim, the outfit seems differently structured vis-à-vis a spin-reliant India where apart from Jhulan, the offies and leggie’ are sharing the burden whilst the younger generation of Vastrakar and Mansi get first the experience.
South Africa can be both difficult to tackle when the likes of Ayabonga Khaka get the ball to do the talking. And also when the likes of Niekerk and Luus turn things around.
And in between these two divergent powers rests the responsibility of Marizanne Kapp, whose ODI economy is an enviable 3.6. Just who does that nowadays in an age where free-hits and switch-hits having made sweeps and square cuts outdated?
Most cricketers fail to last over 5 years given the rigours involved in the contemporary structure of the sport. Some depart within the fighting distance of 10 years.
Kapp seems plum as a newborn green apple, waiting to be relished. When she takes a scalp, cricket goes on to prove that it’s as much a bowlers’ game as it is that of the batswomen.
And in this incredible tension and constant juggling between different formats and an unabashed string of non-stop action rests the next adventure for Kapp.
May she prolong as the constant breeze flowing over the Algoa Bay in her native Port Elizabeth.

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