Claudia Green clean-bowled one of her sporting heroes with just her seventh delivery in first-class cricket.
The Nelson seamer made her Central Hinds debut against Otago last month and in her second over managed to castle superstar Suzie Bates who had her half century in sight.
“It was pretty special,” Claudia says. “I was so excited and didn’t believe it happened at first, a pretty good one to have as your maiden wicket.”
Claudia finished with figures of 1/10 off her two overs but couldn’t stop Central going down to the Southerners by 23 runs.
Despite her dream debut, the Hinds have made a disastrous start to its T20 campaign, losing all five fixtures to date.
Claudia is in her first season with the senior side, having spent the last five years in the Hinds U21’s.
The 20-year-old says she wants to cement her spot in the side this season.
“It’s just an awesome environment to be a part of it and a great opportunity.”
The Wakatu Cricket Club member, who is studying physical education at Otago University, started playing cricket for the Waimea Intermediate girls’ team as a 12-year-old.
While primarily a bowler, with the ability to both swing the ball and hit it out of the park, Claudia is a valuable all-round asset to the side – batting anywhere from 7-11.
“I like to have a whack, so I think I’m suited to the lower order.”
She says she won’t forget watching U21 teammate Jess Watkins hammer a one-day double century from the best seat in the house.
“I just had to find a gap, rotate the strike and watch her boof it, I didn’t score a lot of runs but it was really special to be a part of.”
Claudia is also at the forefront of developing the women’s game in Nelson as she was recently appointed Nelson Cricket’s inaugural female development officer.
Due to a lack of female players, Claudia joined the Wakatu men’s second team while at Waimea College.
She hopes to ensure young female cricketers aren’t hampered by the same limitations and her efforts are already paying dividends.
This season, for the first time, the Wakatu club will field a women’s side, as well as the Nelson Nyxons.
Claudia says this gives young women a team to strive for where in the past we haven’t had that.
“I want to make sure we can foster girls of all ages coming through.”
Claudia says she is trying to create pathways for girls and help make the game fun, fast and friendly.
Any girls interested in taking up the game are encouraged to speak to Claudia at Nelson Cricket. She can be contacted at 548 2204.