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Indonesia’s Vegy Januarika (back row, second from left) with her Indonesian teammates.
Cricket - lovely cricket - for Indonesian all-rounder Vegy


25 Aug 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 25, 2017: Four years ago, Vegy Januarika didn’t know a thing about cricket. These days, she just can’t get enough – either in the nets back home in Jakarta, Indonesia, or here at the 29th SEA Games with the women’s national team. “When I got to know the game I loved it,” she said, as she sat in the stands with her teammates, watching the Malaysia-Thailand women's T20 match on an overcast Friday afternoon at the Kinrara Oval.

“Now I am a cricket fanatic. I have started to watch the professional players from Australia and England to get to know more about the game.” Vegy, a 23-year-old student at UNJ (Jakarta State University), was asked to try out cricket by a friend four years ago. 

This led to trials for her province Jakarta, and she was selected for the provincial team. When the province took part in the inter-provincial national championship, Vegy caught the eye again with her all-round ability with bat and ball, especially her inswing bowling, and joined the national squad.

“Before I started playing I knew nothing about cricket,” she says. “I used to ask why they stand like this or why they stand like that. When I started playing I got the answer.

“Cricket is a good sport. You have to face your enemy and you have to know your friends. I used to be a gymnast and play taekwondo, so cricket was different to anything I had played before because gymnastics and taekwondo were just about me. Now I played with my team and I had to know everybody’s character and personality, and their skills.”

Vegy admits that family and friends are still puzzled by her new sporting love. “What is cricket? They don’t even know cricket,” she adds. “I tell them it is like softball or baseball, but really it is more complicated than that.”

Vegy and her Indonesian teammates are loving the cricket at the 29th SEA Games, as the Kinrara Oval has a grass wicket, a scoreboard and pavilion, giving it a true village cricket feel. “We are enjoying the games so much because we don’t have a ground like this, with turf, so this is very good for us.”

In the match itself, Thailand beat Malaysia by seven wickets. After dismissing the home side for 48 in 16.1 overs, the Thais reached the target in just eight overs for the loss of three wickets. Thailand’s captain, Sornnarin Tippoch, said she was very happy with her team’s fielding, bowling and batting and with the result because Thailand had the pressure of playing the host team Malaysia.

Four women's cricket teams are playing at the 29th SEA Games: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
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