Shabnim Ismail is one of the fastest bowlers in the world – and she’s not afraid to tell you.
While the South African may be small, she does not prevent her from routinely sending deliveries in excess of 120 km / h or taking a deadly look.
“Everyone asks me that question,” Ismail said when asked how she managed to bowl so fast. “I honestly do not know.” The 31-year-old from Cape Town knows that she loves to bowl fast.
Whether for South Africa, the Sydney Thunder or any other domestic site, Ismail is constantly on the lookout for those extra miles per hour.
“As a kid, I always dreamed of bowling as fast as possible,” Ismail told cricket.com.au. “Now I’m 31 years old and I’m still punching as fast as I can and learning a lot.
“My goal is to go outside, have a lot of fun, bow with confidence, and do the best I can for the team.”
Ismail played during the WBBL | 01 as a substitute for the Renegades but was spotted in the league again this year, when the thunder got her signature.
For the right-winger, who played only three caps at the 2009 World Cup, it is a welcome opportunity to roll on Australian fields.
“I love it so much,” she said. “It’s similar to South Africa, it’s just a little bit faster now because I think the pitches in South Africa are a bit slower this time of the year.
“I’m definitely enjoying it, I liked bowling at the WACA because it has a lot of bounce so it suited me a lot.”
For the proteas, she forms a strong New Ball pair with the equally combative Marizanne Kapp, but on Friday night they faced each other when the thunder played the Sydney Sixers at Drummoyne Oval.
On this occasion, Kapp – and the South African captain Dane van Niekerk – had the last laugh when their team raced to a 40-run victory.
But they will be reunited early next year when the T20 World Championship kicks off in Australia – happy for Ismail, their first game against England on the WACA floor – and the time they spend in Big Bash could be crucial to relief Ismail believes that the finals of the 2018 event will be missed.
“(Kapp’s) has been my bowling partner for several years and we click and gel very well,” said Ismail.
“On the SA side, we’re probably the sorriest for the coach because we’re always so competitive with each other and the game, but it’s always nice to play with her.
“This (tournament) tournament gives us a confidence boost and more knowledge for the World Cup, and we now have key players (in the Big Bash) with Kapp, van Niekerk, me, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez and Chloe Trying on.
“It will give us momentum in the World Cup.”