Olivia Anderson: "I think when I started most people saw me as a bit of a clot and they used to laugh when I threw as I used to have a really girlish throw - I still do but I have worked on that" © ICC
 

Olivia Anderson, the South Africa opener, says she can't wait to begin her first overseas tour with the national side against England and Ireland starting Thursday. Anderson, who made her debut in the World Cup qualifiers earlier this year, is determined to perform well so she can prove a point to those who didn't take her seriously at the beginning of her career.

"I think a lot about my future because I didn't think I was very naturally talented at cricket," Anderson told the ICC website. "I think when I started most people saw me as a bit of a clot and they used to laugh when I threw as I used to have a really girlish throw - I still do but I have worked on that.

"I've always wanted to prove them wrong and I have worked really hard on my game and spent hours and hours getting fitter and becoming less clumsy ... I spend a lot of my time thinking about how I can improve."

In the World Cup qualifiers, Anderson impressed with 91 against Papua New Guinea and an unbeaten 46 against Ireland in the semis, with both innings getting her Player-of-the-Match awards. South Africa won the tournament and qualified for next year's World Cup in Australia. "It'll be nerve-wracking but it will also be the proudest moment of my life and like a dream come true," Anderson said about playing at the World Cup.

At 20, she is the youngest member of the South African team and is happy to play alongside cricketers who have been her opposition in domestic tournaments. "It was really great getting to know the different personalities and batting with people you usually only get to play against."

Anderson developed an interest in cricket after operating the sightscreen for men's games at Centurion. "I always used to go with my Dad to Centurion to watch the South African men play. I started controlling the sightscreen, pressing the button to make a change. Every over, after I had pressed the button, I would run down and check that it has changed. I think that is where my love of the game began.

"I started playing when I saw South Africa needed 12 runs to win off 2 balls and Lance Klusener hit two sixes. That actually inspired me and I asked my Dad to take me to play."

South Africa play a one-dayer and a Twenty20 against Ireland before heading to England for five ODIs and two Twenty20s.