By Sterre Kalis
I am very confident the Northern Diamonds can do what my football club back home in Holland, Ajax, have just done and win trophies this summer.
I met the Diamonds girls last Wednesday after completing my time in isolation.
That was filled with watching a lot of Dutch Sports. I love watching football. Ajax became champions recently, so it was a lot of fun to see.
The Diamonds did really well last summer to get to the final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. We played some good cricket right the way through and were unlucky in the final against the Vipers. We could have won that game. But hopefully we can go one step further in that and the T20 competition.
I really enjoyed last summer. The girls, the coaches, they were all great with me.
It was a tough start with three ducks in a row. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dismissal like the one against the Thunder at Liverpool when I was bowled by a ball from their seamer which almost bounced twice.
That was so unfortunate. With the two ducks before that as well, that was not so great for my self-confidence!
Being in a new environment, I was desperate to show everyone what I was capable of. But thankfully it came good in the end with three half-centuries.
I am confident of being able to get back to that kind of form and be a big part of this team again.
Given that everything was tough in Holland with Covid - we had a curfew - I think I’ve had good preparation coming into this summer.
At the start of the winter, we couldn’t train. Everything was shut. But after three weeks, we were allowed to train again because we counted as a top sport. I had a batting coach, who I worked one to one with, and I was able to train with the Dutch team for almost the whole winter.
The gyms were closed, and we don’t have a gym at our Dutch facilities. But my boyfriend’s dad is a physio and has a gym. So I was able to use that to stay fit.
To be nominated by the ICC for their women’s Associate player of the decade award a few months ago was so cool, especially given I am only 21.
When I finished high school, I was 17-years-old and wanted to go to Australia to follow my dreams in cricket. I went to Tasmania to start with, played professional cricket in Queensland and then went to Melbourne before coming here last year.
I played as an overseas player last year, but I now have what they call pre-settled status here. That means for the next five years, I will class as a local player in England while still being able to play for the Dutch national team. That is something I love doing.
We are not professionally contracted at home, so I definitely want to take the step into English cricket to see if I can earn a contract here.
We have a longer season here, which is good for me to play lots of games at a very high standard.
I expect to be available for the full summer here. There was an ICC World Cup qualifying trophy planned for July. It was first planned for last July and then moved to this year because of Covid. But it has been moved again to December.
That means I can put all my focus into performing for, and helping, the girls here. I can’t wait.