Cameroon's Maeva Douma sees running out non-striker as great opportunity to dismiss batters

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Cameroon's Maeva Douma sees running out non-striker as great opportunity to dismiss batters

Meave Douma © ICC

The 16-year old fast bowler from Cameroon, Maeva Douma, became the talk of the town when she ran out four batters at the non-striker’s end against Uganda in the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier. The mode of dismissal has always invoked divided opinions around the world, but Douma is strongly in favor of it.

Douma and Cameroon made their international debut on September 12 against Uganda in the ongoing T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Botswana. She ran out four batters, including Uganda’s captain Immaculate Nakisuuyi. These dismissals were not planned but, after watching Ugandan batters leaving the crease before the ball was bowled, Douma did not hesitate to whip the bails off.

"When I got into the tournament, I did not really focus on using it as a tactic," she was quoted as saying by the ICC website. "But as the game was going on, I realised that the batters were hardly in their base, and thought, 'Why shouldn't I use this opportunity’ to get the players out? It wasn't really a strategy, but I saw it as an opening."

An experienced Uganda side were cruising at 153 for one in the 15th over before Douma removed Kevin Awino at the non-striker’s end. She said it’s a good strategy to use against strong sides.

"I think it is a good tactic to use, especially if you have an opponent such as that and it is difficult to get the batter on strikeout. If you can see that the non-striker can be eliminated through that, then it is a beautiful opportunity to use," Douma said.

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Douma also talked about her teammates support for her decision to affect these run outs. "We got to talk about it as a team, since we saw the opening and we had to discuss it, especially after the first one (first run-out). So we saw that if we had more opportunities, then that's what we are going to use throughout the game. And as a team, I got a lot of encouragement," she added.

She added that the game of cricket is fast becoming popular in her country and with more opportunities like the Africa Qualifier, the sport will grow in Cameroon."Cricket is becoming more and more popular in Cameroon," she said. "Not only that but equally in the schools where the sport is being practiced. We also have the beautiful opportunity where we are participating in the T20 over here (ICC T20 World Cup Africa Region Qualifier), which is seen all over the world. So it is gaining more and more popularity."

Douma, on her debut, became the first player from Cameroon to take wicket when she accounted for Prosscovia Alako. When asked about where it all began for her she reflected on her journey. “I saw people playing cricket where I live and approached them. I then got into a cricket club back in my country. Even in school, they used to play cricket, so I really loved the sport and continued practicing, and here I am right now," Douma added.

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Douma looks at the tournament in Botswana as a stepping stone for her team to improve their skills and represent Cameroon on the international level. "Participating in a tournament like this does not only make me proud of representing my country but equally, I get to learn a lot,” she said.

“The pitches, the fields that we are playing in, the pre-game practice. We also get to gain a lot of experience from playing against teams that have been playing for years. So I have really learned a lot and continue to from the matches that I am playing in."

After representing her country in four matches, Douma, who loves bowling, aspires to perfect herself as a batter and she has set some personal goals as well.

"I dream of becoming a much better player, not only for my national team but also in professional teams outside. I look forward to working towards that and bettering my game so that I can attain my dreams," she concluded.