September 26, 2001

Travers seeks new challenge in Canterbury

Emily Travers has made a significant decision in her cricket career and moved from the Manawatu to Canterbury.

For someone who has never lived more than an hour away from home at Mangaweka, in Tiger country in the middle of the North Island, it is a big step.

But the CLEAR White Ferns reserve wicket-keeper, who was part of last year's CricInfo Women's World Cup win, knew the time was right for a change.

She had completed her degree in business studies with emphasis on sports management and marketing, at Massey University and was looking for a new challenge in life and cricket.

It meant wrenching herself away from what has been a highly supportive environment in Palmerston North. Facilities, coaching and playing conditions were all good in the region, an area that had seen her play club cricket while at boarding school in Wanganui then in the Palmerston North competition which had combined with Wanganui by the time she went to university.

There is still a chance she may play for Central Districts in the national women's competition but that is still to be resolved.

She hasn't talked to CD about the situation and if her transfer means she has to try to win a place with Canterbury then she is quite happy to do that.

However, CD chief executive Blair Furlong said that CD would be applying the rule that allowed a player born in CD to play for the side to ensure she continued as the wicket-keeper.

Travers, who served on the board of the Manawatu Cricket Association in a bid to get more emphasis on women's cricket last year, said that unfortunately a lot of older players were no longer available for women's cricket and there wasn't the base for a women's competition this year. The signs were there that there would be competitions in the future and it was always going to be a two or three-year thing.

That wasn't the main reason she left. She wanted a change and a personal challenge. However, choosing Christchurch was never going to hinder her cricket and she will be playing for the St Albans club this year.

Travers said she feels she has only just started in cricket at the top level and it had been great to get a taste of the action at last year's World Cup.

"I really want to give it a good shot. I am still very much in the development phase.

"My 'keeping is the strongest part of my game. But I am looking to put more emphasis on my batting. I've been working on my rhythm and routine and being stronger through the shot," she said.

The prospect of possible selection for the CLEAR White Ferns for India was exciting.

"I've only been as far as Australia before. Obviously there are clouds over whether we are still going or not, but I am sure NZC will make the right decision at the time," she said.

Getting over the World Cup success had taken some time.

"It was fantastic for the first week or two afterwards. It was quite surreal.

"It was great to go home and hear stories about people who had never been involved in women's cricket turning their TV on and sticking with the coverage all day.

"Women's cricket certainly got a boost from it. And there has been an influx of numbers. But while that was great we have still got to look forward, and there eight or nine new players in this year's squad," she said.

Travers is hoping to get some experience in events management, whether in sports or not, in Christchurch but in the meantime she is doing work for Canterbury Cricket and NZC.