Maia Bouchier - Playing for England
Continuing our focus on Women in Sport this week, we got back in touch with Maia Bouchier.
You might remember Maia from the last time we did a Q&A ahead of her appearance for the Southern Brave in The Hundred, and now you might just recognise her from the England team.
Putting her meteoric rise within women’s cricket to one side for a moment, Maia was kind enough to answer a few more questions for us.
Congratulations on getting to the final of The Hundred - how was your experience of the tournament as a whole?
The whole experience was really special. The fact that we were starting out a new competition and had the opportunity to play in front of huge crowds was incredible - I’m hoping for a lot more of it!
How did it feel to be named in the England team for the WT20I?
That, I can say, was a surprise! I was a bit shocked at first, but then I realised how much work I had put in over the year - from the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and Charlotte Edwards Cup, to being part of the Hundred, which gave me the opportunity to showcase my skill as a key middle order batter. I was just excited to be part of the squad, let alone play!
Is being part of the England team as much fun as it looks?
Oh yes, 100%! I know quite a lot of the girls really well which helps but all the staff and players are so welcoming and know how to have fun! That’s one thing they pride themselves on - always enjoying being in the moment.
What first encouraged you to play sport?
I think it was being brought up watching a lot of football and cricket with my brothers and Dad. I guess you could say it’s in my blood - my South African gene definitely helps! Most of my family are super keen cricket, football and rugby fans so I would be surprised if I wasn’t into any of them.
Why should more young women take up cricket?
It is such a social sport. Any young girls who are looking to play should remember that they can join at any level and with their friends if they want. They should want to take up cricket because there are so many benefits that come out of the sport - making friends, finding a community and developing confidence, whether that be for themselves or in their cricket, aspiring to become the next Ellyse Perry or Nat Sciver!
How are you adapting to life after university as a professional athlete?
This last year has been hectic - one bubble to another, however I still can’t quite believe I’m being paid to do what I love. I now have more time to focus on my cricket - putting extra hours into training, fitness and communicating with my coaches about specific work-ons for the next sessions. I’m challenging myself a lot more in training so I can be ready for anything on the cricket pitch.
I would have never thought I would be in this position - having a contract with the Vipers, making my England debut, and now playing in the Big Bash with the Melbourne Stars!
When we last caught up, your goal was to play for England - what are your goals now?
Well I would say it was to play in the Big Bash, but now it’s actually happening! I think the next step for me is to become a regular England player, both in the T20’s and ODI’s, even though that’s a bit of a stretch. I’ll be looking to make my mark in the longer formats of the game - Test cricket is my favourite!