Netherlands international batter Sterre Kalis admits she is loving her spell with the Northern Diamonds in this summer’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
In fact, you could say that Sterre is crazy about the Diamonds!
The 21-year-old Dutch star’s nomadic cricket career has seen her stop off in Leeds for a six-game, hopefully seven, spell of 50-over cricket.
Kalis has played 17 T20 internationals for her country since debuting in 2018, while she has also played county cricket for Essex and has spent time with Australian Big Bash side Sydney Thunder on a rookie contract.
In fact, when playing for Essex in 2018, she would fly back and forth between England and Holland to cram in as much cricket as possible.
Those dashes across Europe have been halted for Coronavirus reasons, with her lodging with Yorkshire’s cricket operations manager Cecilia Allen, a former White Rose women’s player herself.
And such has been her level of enjoyment with the Diamonds, she is open to extending her stay in the North.
“It’s been really good for me to get in some high-standard games,” she said after hitting a polished 87 in Sunday’s North Group defeat against Central Sparks at Emerald Headingley.
“Back at home we don’t really play loads of games. So every one you get over here, it’s a big chance.
“It’s really good for my development.
“I love being here and love playing at a standard like this. So hopefully I can come back next year.
“I’m used to being away from home. I’ve played three seasons in Australia, and I’ve only just turned 21.
“When I played for Essex a couple of years ago, I was flying backwards and forwards. But if you do that now, you have to quarantine for 14 days every time.
“So I’m staying here, and the girls have really looked after me.”
On the field, Kalis endured a frustrating start to the competition for the high-flying Diamonds before coming good against the Sparks.
Before that 87, which showed off her strength square on both sides of the wicket, she had three successive ducks.
But the latter one against the North West Thunder at Liverpool last Thursday saw her bowled by an unplayable grubber from home seamer Alice Dyson. Any batsman would have struggled to keep it out.
“When you’ve not scored any runs, it’s the last thing you need!” she laughed.
“But going into the next game, it’s no good being in your head. That’s the last thing you need, so it’s about freeing your mind to be able to perform.
“It was a really good feeling to finally get some runs on the board.
“I have tried to stay positive and work hard at training. Thankfully it came right.
“It’s always better if you get runs in a win. But, if we win at the weekend, we are through to the final.”
So, moving on to Saturday. The Diamonds currently sit top of the North Group with four wins from five games. They are five points clear of Central Sparks with only five points available and have a better net run-rate in the race to reach the final at Edgbaston on September 27.
A Diamonds win against cross-Pennine rivals Thunder at Headingley would qualify them, as winners of the North, to play South Group winners Southern Vipers.
If they lose, the Sparks need to win with a bonus point (you need a run-rate of 1.25 more than your opponent) in their game against Lightning to have any chance.
Kalis added: “We beat the Thunder convincingly last week, so we’re really confident going into the weekend and hopefully we can do that again.
“The team’s feeling really good, and all the girls have stood up and showed what they’re capable of (throughout the competition).
“We’re confident and can’t wait for Saturday.”