Meet the Wildcats - Kathryn Bryce
In our second meet the Wildcats features on the Cricket Scotland website, Gary Heatly speaks to all-rounder Kathryn Bryce as the team prepare to depart for the WWT20Q.
Kathryn Bryce turns 18 next week, just two days before the Scotland team heads off to the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Thailand.
The teenager could not have asked for a better birthday gift, but in truth her selection is down to her own hard work and form in 2015.
She began playing the sport properly when she was at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh - but she had played in the garden before that.
“I remember when I was young playing in the garden and really enjoying it so it was great when a letter came home one day when I was in primary 5 telling my parents that a girls’ cricket team was being started up at school,” Bryce recounts.
“As things progressed I was also involved in hockey and tennis too, but I really liked the team aspect of cricket and the fact that everyone got a chance to bat, bowl and field. It gave you a number of different aspects to focus on.
“When I was 10 I managed to take a hat-trick for the girls’ team against Sedbergh and that was amazing, but I guess I was too young to take it all in at the time.
“Soon all of my free time was taken up in the summer months playing cricket as I progressed to playing for Scotland at age-grade level and was also playing for Watsonians in the under-13s, 15s and 18s too.
“Playing in the boys teams was good fun and I was really proud to play for the first XI at George Watson’s.”
As you can see, although she may still be relatively young Bryce - who is currently on a gap year and plans to play cricket in Adelaide, Australia, in early 2016 - has quite a lot of experience under her belt.
“The chance to go and play in Thailand with the full squad is going to be amazing. We know that we will face some tough matches out there, but the fact that we will have some warm-up encounters will help us to get used to the conditions,” Bryce added.
“I think these are really exciting times for the women’s game in this country because there is a good balance of experience and youth around, we are working hard to improve and there is a great squad spirit - that makes it easier for newer players too come in and not feel daunted.”
The added bonus about the Thailand trip for Bryce is that her younger sister Sarah has also been selected.
The 15-year-old got into the sport by following in her big sister’s footsteps.
And earlier this year the duo hit the cricketing headlines when they put on an amazing batting partnership for Scotland under-17 down in Lincolnshire.
Batting first, Kathryn joined Sarah at the crease early on when Kirstie Gordon was out. The sisters then put together a cracking partnership, both reaching centuries and hauling their team up to 341-1 from 45 overs.
It was the stuff dreams are made of and the young Scots went on to win the match by 211 runs - with ‘Team Bryce’ dominating the talk on the boundary.
Bryce senior said: “It was a brilliant day, really it was. My sister and I talk about cricket a lot and are always trying to help each other.
“When I came out to bat that day we couldn’t of imagined what would happen, but we both got into the groove and just kept chatting in the middle and taking each over as it came.
“To both hit so many runs and celebrate together with our dad pacing the boundary made it special - hopefully we can have more success in Thailand and beyond.”
You can follow the Scotland team's progress in the run up and during the competition on Twitter: @Wildcatscricket