By Sean Devers
Thirty-four-year-old fast bowling all-rounder Guyanese Tremayne Dequette Smartt has played 57 ODIs and 58 T20 games for the West Indies Women’s Team but none since March 2018 when the Regional side toured New Zealand.
Smartt made her ODI debut on October 23, 2009 before playing her first T20 games for the West Indies two days later against hosts South Africa.
The Berbician has 37 ODI wickets with a best of 5-24 at an Average 35.97.
However, Smartt has enjoyed more success in the shortest form in International cricket taking 38 wickets from 52 innings with a best of 3-9 and an average of 20.26, while she has batted 26 times in the T20 format; making a highest score of 62 at a strike rate of 104.24.
Smartt and Stacy-Ann King hold the record for the highest fourth-wicket partnership in a Women’s Twenty20 International with a stand of 124 runs.
A senior member of the Guyana Women’s team, Smartt never played for Guyana at U-19 level and made her National debut for the U-23 side after some good performances for the Berbice senior team under the Presidency of Attorney-at-Law Emily Dodson who headed the Guyana Women’s Cricket Board.
In 2011 she made her highest score of 62 in a T20, while in 2013/14 season she captured 14 wickets in 14 T20 matches for West Indies.
In 2015, Smartt and all-rounder Deandra Dottin led Windies to an eight-wicket win against Pakistan in Grenada with incisive bowling.
In 2016 Smartt was a member of the Windies team which won the Women’s World Cup in India but missed the home series against Sri Lanka before replacing injured Shakera Selman, for the 2018 tour of New Zealand.
In February 2020, Shabika Gajnabi made an unbeaten 90 to lead Rose Hall Town Metro (149-6 in 20 overs) to a 96-run win over New Amsterdam/Canje (53 all out) to win the BCB/ Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club/ Nand Persaud Company Limited female final. Smartt had 2-14 for New Amsterdam/Canje.
In March 2020, Smartt (64) shared in an unfinished 176-run stand with Gajnabi (215) against the National U-19 Girls team as Berbice won the GCB Women’s Inter-County tournament for the fourth consecutive time.
Smartt was born on September 17, 1985 at Alverston Village Corentyne to Aubrey Smartt and Elizabeth Hunte-Smartt and attended Alness Primary.
“I grow up at Big Alness Village Corentyne before moving to Number One Road Corentyne. Growing up as little girl I was the simple one. Living in the country area we live as one and look out for each other.
I played softball and Tapeball cricket in streets from a small age with all the boys, I climbed trees, played marbles, went fishing, bush cook. I always in the company of the boys in both villages. I loved playing cricket.
We would play ‘get the ball bowl out man bat’ so those boys were ruff and you had to be tuff to jump overboard (into Canals) to get balls and bowl to get batting so you had to work harder when playing with those boys. We played a little football, raced each other in street races,” Smartt explained.
“We would go fishing; catching fish and throw cast nets if we had, but it was more catching fish by hand, just to take home to cook a meal for the family or we would share with elders in village on our way home.
I took part in athletics championships every year I would take part in nationals. I did cycling and high jumps, ran 100 and 200 relays.
I have medals for second in cycling and high jumps in National’s School’s championship. I had no cycle but my village boys would lend me theirs to take part.
In Berbice only one person would beat me in cycling, she was from my school too. At the end of my last year in school I finally beat her in a race.
I never trained for those events, I would just turn up and give of my best and I get results. I also played a little basketball in school with boys for fun, they did not have problem giving me the ball because I would help them score points from any angle. It was natural for me, I never train in those sports like I for do cricket,” Smartt said as she remembered her school days.
“It is normal for girls in Berbice to play cricket and football, sport in general. Taking part in sports, the better are their chances of not getting involved in ills of society.
But it depends on what they want from the sports and maybe most of them follow the dream of being that great footballer or cricketer, but most girls in Berbice take up football and athletics, maybe because they have better programmes in those sports in the school’s system,” said Smart.
“I got interested in cricket from a small age, playing softball in the street with the boys. I fell in love with cricket and one day I was in my class and just like, a thought came to my mind that I wanted to be a cricketer. I wrote it at back of my book. My friends and family laughed at me.
My father never wanted me to play cricket and wanted me to join the Army or Police force but I said to myself I will follow my dreams no matter what it takes.
I would get really bad licks for always playing cricket in the streets with boys. That did not stop me. I was determined to be that cricketer. At that time there was no female cricketers in sight but I still had that hope of becoming one.
The dream came through for me in 2005 when I made the Guyana U-23 female team to Trinidad. Then I went on to make West Indies in 2009.
It was not an easy road. Living in country area the elders would ask you to go to shops or do chores for them and without you asking they would give a little something and of course I saved that to help get to training.
My neighbours give me a lovely green track pants which I used often by washing it every day just to get to training and follow that dream and listen to the words I wrote in that book that day,” Smartt added.
It was myself-motivation and discipline. I would put a piece of wood and bowl to it and run get that ball all the time, practice catching by hitting the ball in the air, drop the bat run after it. Batting; I would drop the ball and hit and go after it, that’s how I started before any coaching was done,” informed Smartt.
Smartt moved to Number One Road and completed Primary school at Courtland Primary before attending Port Mourant Secondary and then Lower Corentyne Secondary which produced most of good cricketers from Berbice like Devendra Bishoo, Zamal khan, Ravindra Ivan, Delbert Hicks and Esuan Crandon.
“When I first played for Berbice I was always an all-rounder, from club cricket. I took on the role of opening the batting and bowling. I batted where I was needed at the time given the situation,” said Smartt, Coach of the Guyana U-19 Girls team.
She started playing for Young Strikers Female Club, but after few years the club fell away because there was no female cricket being played in Berbice.
“I was living a few villages from Albion cricket club so I decided, for the love of game, I would run to Albion ground and back. To keep my cricket skills going I would train with the Albion boys team….I was the only girl. Training with the likes of the Deonarines, Chattergoons, Bishoos.
Tucber Park Cricket Club had a female team so I went to play there. During my time at Tucber Park, I felt the need to help to find female cricketers from the Corentyne to form a team.
With the aim of helping to find and develop female cricket I would go to the different villages. I borrowed my neighbour’s bicycle and rode around to encourage females to play cricket. I would talk to the girls in school.
We had a Windball team in school that would take part in Windball competition organised by Alistair Monroe every year. I was successful in getting about two teams,” Smartt noted.
She went to Rose Hall Town Club to get these girls in a club and when she was satisfied that the team was up and running she returned to Tucber Park Club where she is today, explained Smartt.
Smartt played with the male team and was at Tucber Park in the Second and First division tournaments and was provided opportunity to improve her cricket.
“I was in the Berbice team that travelled to Georgetown for the inter-county. I did my best by taking wickets and scoring runs and we were invited for trials matches. I performed well again and after the match the Guyana team was announced,” Smartt noted.
“My most memorable moment was playing for West Indies when I took a four-wicket haul in the 2013 World Cup against New Zealand to help my team to reach final. Another memorable moment for me was wining 2016 World Cup.
My most memorable moments playing for Guyana was during my second year in the team. I scored a half century against Trinidad, and in 2013 put in a good all round performance to help Guyana beat Trinidad.
I made 47 and took 3 wickets to help Guyana to victory in the 50 overs game in a semi-final match,” informed Smartt who now lives at Kilcoy Chesney, Corentyne.
“When not playing cricket I would do gardening, flower pots making, do art and craft, plant flowers in my yard, listening to music, dancing, reading books, playing dominoes, watching TV, going fishing and helping others in my spare time. I recently donated foodstuff to the children homes,” Smartt disclosed. (to be continued)
In Part 2 Smartt talks as player and Coach about the Women’s game.
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