Growing up, my brothers ingrained competitive streak in me that I still haven't lost, says Ireland international Orla Prendergast
Prendergast has played 34 T20Is and 11 ODIs for Ireland since making her debut in 2021.
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Ahead of the new domestic season, Ireland international Orla Prendergast sat down to discuss her career to date, in the latest episode of The Green Ball Podcast – the Irish cricket podcast – including her upbringing, sporting inspirations, and goals, as well as explaining how she started off batting left-handed!
Prendergast, who has played 34 T20Is and 11 ODIs for Ireland since making her debut in 2021, has quickly become an established and dynamic player, integral to the national set-up.
The 20-year-old Pembroke all-rounder has been in tremendous form since last summer, culminating with a place in the Team of the Tournament at the recent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
On what she took out of the T20 World Cup earlier this year, Prendergast said:
“I look back on it with very fond memories – particularly that game against West Indies. I wasn't expecting to score a half-century or anything like that, so it was a great day personally.
“And yes, to be named on the team of the tournament was another great honour and with some good company there too. It was amazing to be able to be named alongside some players like that. The disappointment of not registering a win is still there, but I think we showed a huge amount of promise and competitiveness, and of course, we had that win against Australia in the warm-up. There are definite positives there that we can take. It was a great experience and we’re absolutely looking forward to the next one.”
Her memories of when she first started playing sport:
“I think my first memory of playing sport is in our back garden, or on our road out the front with my brothers. It was generally football, that was the main one and then the cricket bats would come out with the plastic stumps during summer. So, when I look back at my childhood my fondest memories are playing against my brothers and probably getting thrown around a little bit in the backyard. Growing up, my brothers ingrained a competitive streak in me that I still haven't lost, so I can thank them for that.”
On working with head coach Ed Joyce:
“Yeah, he’s incredible. He's an absolutely outstanding head coach, and an even better batting coach. The improvements I've made in my game in the last 12-18 months, specifically batting-wise, I can definitely thank him a huge amount for. It’s amazing to have a coach like him help us day in, day out. Our general batting improvements over the last while can be seen, the way we have expanded our shot range - I absolutely love working with Ed.”
On what she hopes to achieve in her cricketing career:
“It’s not something I’ve put a massive amount of thought into, to be honest, I just keep taking each tournament as it comes, I suppose. Long-term, I want to play a lot for Ireland. I want to get 100 caps, things like that, like what Mary Waldron and Laura Delany have done. I think that's probably one of the main goals. Just to have a long career for Ireland and go to more World Cups, come away with more wins, and compete with the best teams in the world. I think it’s something that we can do and something that I want to do a lot more regularly.”
The women’s domestic representative season begins on 1 May, and Ireland Women depart for a tour of the Caribbean on 20 June 2023, before hosting world champions, Australia, in July and later in August travelling to the Netherlands for a T20I series.
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