November 20, 1983, Rustenburg, Transvaal
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Cri-Zelda Brits completed a rapid rise to the top of women's cricket in South Africa when she was named as stand-in captain for the injured Shandre Fritz for the 2007 one-day series at home to Pakistan. She led the side to a 4-0 series win and her own form flourished, scoring two fifties. She followed this by captaining the side to a 3-0 series whitewash against the Netherlands as well as winning the first ever Test between the two sides by 159 runs, following a bold declaration in their second innings.
The journey began for her when she was an 11-year-old playing in boys' teams, and by the time she was 14 she was keeping wicket for the SA Under-21s against England. She broke into the full side in 2002.
By the time her home nation came round to hosting the World Cup in 2005 she was opening both the batting and the bowling. In what was a disappointing tournament for the hosts she was the team's top scorer by some distance, with an aggregate of 206, and second-highest wicket-taker, with five. The stand-out performance came against the West Indies when she struck 72 and took what remain career-best figures of 4/37 in a thrilling one run victory.
She still harbours hopes of the game in South Africa catching up with that of their English and Australian counterparts and believes that turning semi-professional is the best way to spread the game further.
Among those she admires most are England's Charlotte Edwards, who she has played with at Kent, as well as Ricky Ponting, for the way he plays the game. Away from representing her country she also coaches the Northwest women's team, based in Potchefstroom, and runs her own academy.
She has also played indoor cricket, which she says is a useful way of aiding her shot selection and quick thinking.
In February 2008, South Africa, led by Brits, qualified for the World Cup in 2009 when they won the World Cup Qualifiers in Stellenbosch. Brits got her maiden ODI hundred in the tournament in South Africa's 227-run win over Netherlands. But the selectors named Sunette Loubser as captain for the World Cup to allow Brits to concentrate on her own performance. In 2011 she stepped away from the cricket for a year to concentrate on her off-field career.
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