Happy Birthday, Mignon du Preez
South African Proteas Women’s batter Mignon du Preez is celebrating her 29th birthday. We caught up with her to find out a little bit more about the star.
How did you get into cricket? Please tell us about your background in cricket.
I actually started playing cricket by accident. My older brother played Mini Cricket and my dad was their coach. At one of the Mini Cricket Festivals, their team was a player short and my dad asked if I wanted to play (I was only around 4½ years old). However, at the end of the day, I was the best batter for the day and that is where my love started for this amazing game.
In Primary School I played mainly with the boys and started playing for Doringkloof Primary’s 1st cricket team at age 11. (I might have been the first girl ever to score a 100 runs in a match for a primary school (boys) first team). During my Gr7 year I got introduced to girls/women’s cricket and started playing for Gauteng North (Northerns) Women’s Cricket team. I scored my first double hundred during the same year (Gr7) in a provincial game for Gauteng North’s u/13 girls cricket team versus Gauteng’s u/13 girls cricket team (scored 258* not out in 96 balls (16×6’s & 28×4’s). I also represented SA in u/17 girls Indoor Cricket. Fortunately Zwartkop High School had a girls’ cricket team and I continued playing more girls and club cricket. At age 17, I got invited to my first National Training Camp for the South African Women’s Cricket team and finally made my debut for South Africa in January 2007 against Pakistan (in Gr12). I’ve played for South Africa ever since. I missed out only on a single tour since 2007 due to exams (during my Marketing degree exams at University of Pretoria). At the ICC WWC in 2017 I became the first South African Women’s Cricketer to play 100 ODI’s for my country.
What is the funniest moment you have experienced on and off the cricket field?
On Field: I accidently tripping myself and face planted 😂
Off Field: There is a YouTube video doing the rounds about an ‘Alien Dance Challenge’. On a recent tour we had a performance of this dance by our ‘youngsters’ which was very funny and entertaining.
What is your greatest moment in your cricket career so far?
When I became Captain of the Momentum Proteas in 2011.
What is it like being part of the Proteas Women’s team?
It’s living my dream… As a young girl growing up I always wanted to play for the Proteas, and now that dream is my reality… It’s an amazing honour and the team has become my family away from home!
Fave band, fave food, fave holiday destination?
*Hillsong Worship and Bethel Music
Where is the most interesting place you have toured with the Proteas squad?
India – it’s an amazing cultural and sensory experience.
What are some of the challenges you face as a women’s cricketer?
- Cricket is still very much a male dominated sport.
- Girls’ cricket is not a mainstream sport in schools.
- Limited media exposure and not a lot of our games get televised or ‘live’ streamed.
- Limited funding and sponsorship opportunities.
What is the best advice that someone has given you that has helped you to this day?
“A small act of kindness can have an endless ripple effect…”
Who is your role model in women’s cricket and why?
Mithali Raj – She is an intelligent cricketer who is always leading from the front with her performances, but stays very humble. She is currently the leading run scorer of all time in the women’s game with over 6000 ODI runs with an average of 50+.
What would you like to achieve in the year ahead?
I want to become a World Cup Winner! I would love to become a history maker by being part of the first South African ‘senior’ Cricket Team to bring a World Cup trophy home. We might get that opportunity in November when we head to the Caribbean for the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup.
Happy Birthday, Mignon! We hope you have an amazing day today! We wish you all the very best for the year ahead!