Hornet comes of age in Ipswich
IPSWICH Logan Hornets’ prized import Brenda Tau has her heart set on appearing at the ICC Women’s World Cup.
The 21-year-old Papua New Guinean international introduced to the game in the backyard by her brothers as a young girl has been a revelation playing out of Baxter Oval this season, scoring one ton and coming agonisingly close to a second.
Earlier this year, she captained the successful East Asia Pacific outfit at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Toowoomba.
Though she relished the opportunity to play alongside women drawn from the Pacific nations, her allegiances lie with her country of birth and she is determined to guide them all of the way to the World Cup.
To book their place at the tournament which represents the pinnacle of the women’s game PNG must first overcome the other Pacific countries. If they can do so, they enter a qualifying tournament featuring other minnows to sit on the cusp.
Secure victory on this stage and they will be on their way.
After overcoming the Pacific teams, the island nation fell in the semi-finals of the qualifying phase in Scotland during their quest to reach the last World Cup and Tau does not want to suffer the same demise again.
Women’s cricket is witnessing extreme growth and expansion into developing countries. Formerly a favourite pastime of villagers and children, the sport is surprisingly popular in PNG and participation rates continue to rise.
The Hornets’ dynamo is adamant they have the talent to achieve their lofty goal.
Tau said the squad was excited by the trend in women’s cricket towards globalisation and the increasing number of opportunities becoming available to them as a result.
She said players were leaving no stone unturned in their preparations.
“Women’s cricket is going really well,” she said.
“You see people playing and loving the sport. They are learning a lot through cricket and they love it.
“Hopefully we can get to the world cup. We’re still working on it. It is going to be a dream come true. We have a great side. The girls work hard all of the time. We are going really well. There are a couple of things we need to fix but I do believe we will get into the world cup.”
In order to learn the game, hone her skills and develop as a cricketer Tau linked with the Hornets on a PNG Cricket scholarship sponsored by RSL.
Tau is no stranger to the sunburnt country. She first visited Sydney at 15 with the PNG team. In 2018 she returned for six months on a similar tour training and playing cricket. This time she is here for half a year again, split into three month stays. She has about two months left before she is due to head home.
Tau said it had been an unbelievable experience learning from teammates and coaches at the club and her cricket had progressed exponentially.
She said though living independently away from home had been challenging, it had also helped her to build confidence, mature and develop socially.
“My cricket has really improved to be honest with you but I still have a lot to learn and I have coaches here helping me,” she said.
“It’s a great experience. I have a lot of friends here. People are really lovely. I really love it here. Being away for six months has been hard but it is part of life and growing up. When I first came I was so shy. I wasn’t opening up to anyone but then I started to realise that you have got to open up and take yourself out of the shell to grow up and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m really good with it now and everyone has been telling me that, so I’m happy that I came here because this is where I grew up.”