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Katie Prior

Katie Prior (aged 15), from White River Mpumalanga, started her cricket “career” at the young age of 5 when her older brother Matthew made her relentlessly bowl to him in the garden, so he could practice his batting.

It was soon evident that Katie not only had cricket talent, but loved playing cricket as well.

At age 7 Katie joined her brother at the local Action Cricket arena and began playing every Friday evening with the boys.

Sadly, when Katie was 8, her beloved brother Matthew tragically passed away whilst opening the batting for Uplands Prep 1st team in Lydenburg.
After a break from the game Katie returned, playing outdoor cricket for the Uplands Prep u9A Boys team and representing the Lowveld Invitational team at the National Inter Provincial Junior Indoor Cricket Tournament in the u10 category.

Katie went on to represent Lowveld as an integral member of the Lowveld A boys u10, u11 and u12 inter provincial teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014 … with her team coming second in the country and winning silver medals in each of those years.

Katie also continued with her outdoor cricket throughout, playing with the Uplands boys … and in 2014 got her first opportunity to play girls’ cricket when she was selected to play for the Mpumalanga u19 Girls side at the tender age of 12. The Cricket South Africa National u19 cricket week took place in December of 2014 where Katie more than held her own against the best u19 girl cricketers in the country.

2015 saw Katie selected for the SA Under 18 Girls Indoor Cricket team to travel to the World Indoor Cricket Federation Junior World Series in Brisbane, Australia. Lots of training camps and hard work later, and after taking part in the Boys Inter Provincial tournament together - the girls team left for Brisbane, with Katie announced as Captain at the young age of 13.

With players all required to cover their own costs for the Junior World Series, it was as a result of a lot of help from friends, family and a very generous sponsorship from Ambassador Foods that Katie got to realise her dreams.

Whilst the Junior World Series tournament itself was extremely tough for the SA u18 Girls side, specifically with the girls coming up against the best u18 girl cricketers that Australia and New Zealand could muster – “Captain Katie” held her own and led by example in all 9 of SA’s 9 games. Katie managed to return the best SA bowling or batting figures in many a game and achieved both the best SA batting and best SA bowling figures in their final game of the tournament which was LiveStreamed on the internet. Katie also finished in the top 2 of her team in the tournament statistics
Following the World Series in Australia Katie took part in her second CSA National Girls u19 week in Durban in Dec 2015, opening the bowling for the Mpumalanga u19 team. Katie was one of the leading wicket takers for the tournament picking up 17 wickets over the 5 days.

Katie has also become a regular in the Mpumalanga Senior Ladies outdoor cricket team participating in CSA’s Provincial One Day and T20 Competitions in the 2015/2016 season, and was the proud recipient of the “Mpumalanga Ladies, Team Player of the Year” award at the annual prize-giving in April 2016.

Katie was also a positive influence in Uplands College relaunching girls’ cricket in 2016, encouraging more girls in the school to participate in one of the fastest growing sports in the country – girls’ cricket. The first game for the Upland Girls team saw Katie make her first 50 of her short career, scoring 78* against Curro Nelspruit.

Update August 2017:
The CSA Women’s Provincial 2016/2017 season was another good one for Katie as she continued opening the bowling for the Mpumalanga Women, and in March 2017 Katie achieved her first five wicket haul at this level against Limpopo. Katie went on to deservedly claim the “Mpumalanga Ladies, Best Bowler” award at the Mpumalanga Cricket annual prize-giving in May 2017.

In April Katie had the privilege of attending a PitchVision Girls Cricket Camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, receiving great training and inspiration from their great coaching team and Protea Women’s Player Mignon Du Preez.

For the 2017/18 season the Uplands Girls have been entered into the league and Katie has kicked of the season with scores of 54, 54 and 109* as well as picking up between 2 and 3 wickets every game. Katie scored her first ever century on 23rd August 2017 against Lydenburg, seeing her team home with a six in the last over.

Katie will once again be playing for the Mpumalanga 19 Girls team in December 2017, when the best u19 girl cricketers from across the country meet to compete at the CSA Girls u19 National Week in Port Elizabeth.

The Mpumalanga Ladies also kick off this 2017/18 season soon, playing KZN Inland in October with Katie set to continue to open the bowling. Katie is also looking forward to experiencing her first time playing at Sahara Park Kingsmead, when they clash against KZN in January 2018.