Dani Hazell has hailed the resilience shown by Sterre Kalis to bounce back from a sticky start to star in this summer’s Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy and says she is keen to see the Netherlands batter return to Northern Diamonds colours next year.
Kalis, 21, impressed for the Diamonds with three successive half-centuries to end a campaign which saw her side finish as beaten finalists by Southern Vipers at Edgbaston in September.
However, that came on the back of three successive ducks to start her overseas stint.
Seventeen-time T20 international Kalis finished the RHF Trophy with 197 runs from seven appearances (six innings) at an average of 39.40. Only six players scored more runs than her in the competition.
“Naturally, the start she made was getting to her,” said Diamonds coach Hazell. “And she wanted to train more, she wanted to hit more.
“We had a few chats to her along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry too much, these things don’t last forever’.
“She was hitting them really well in the nets, and sometimes your luck is just out.
“We always knew it would come good for her in the end, and she did really well. Three fifties in a row, that was fantastic for her and us.
“She showed a lot of resilience because it can be tough when you’re in a new team in a new country with people forming opinions of you.
“But she always turned up to training with a smile on her face and got on with it. She got her rewards in the end.”
Hazell’s comment about sometimes your luck is just out was best summed up in the North Group clash with rivals North West Thunder at Liverpool when, signalling her third duck, Kalis was bowled by an unplayable delivery from seamer Alice Dyson which bounced halfway down the pitch and shot along the ground.
“That was hard for her to take and for us to watch if I’m honest,” said Hazell.
“But she got what she deserved because people who work hard get their rewards in the end.”
Rewards came in the form of runs, and an award may be just around the corner because Kalis has been nominated for the ICC’s Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade award.
The award is based on performances between January 1, 2011 and October 7, 2020.
In the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 Qualifier event, she finished as the leading run-scorer with 231.
The following year, she also hit a stunning 126 not out off 76 balls opening the batting in an international v Germany. It remains the joint third highest score in Women’s T20 internationals, with her sitting alongside Australia captain Meg Lanning.
“She’s got a very big future ahead of her,” said Hazell of a player who came to the Diamonds attention through a link director of cricket James Carr has within Dutch Cricket.
“She showed us some real promise, and she’s keen to stay involved with the Diamonds, and we want to support her in the future.
“We don’t know how Covid and Brexit is going to impact things, but we’d love to keep her involved in our system.
“She will be involved with us this winter, albeit it a lot of it virtually.
“I keep in touch with her. She’s working with her coaches over in the Netherlands, but she sends me regular videos of her batting.
“We don’t know how the world is going to start turning, but we’d like to keep her involved. The Netherlands will come first for her, but we’ll see what happens.”
Voting for the ICC Women’s Associate Player of the Decade closes on Wednesday December 16.