By Sean Devers
At 27, Demerara Captain and National fast bowling all-rounder Akaze Thompson began as a promising sprinter before she transitioned into cricketer who has been representing her Country for almost a decade.
Her first taste of overseas cricket came when she was in the sixth grade when she was picked in a Guyana Windball Cricket team organised by Allister Munroe of the Al Sports Promotions for a female tournament in Barbados.
In 2011 Thompson made her debut for Demerara, the smallest but most populated of the three Counties in Guyana, before making her National debut against Barbados in Bim the same year.
Her best bowling figures for Guyana is 4-26 against Windward Islands in 2018, while her highest score is an attractive unbeaten 66* against Dominica in 2014.
Thompson was born on October 21, 1992 to Patricia Amsterdam and Orson Thompson and grew up in Lodge Housing Scheme. She attended the Sacred Heart Primary, and St. John’s College.
“Life growing up for me was amazing, I lived with my parents and other siblings, I’m the youngest of four children so I was the baby, my parents always supported me in any sports I was doing. Growing up for me was just fun, I got to enjoy every bit of my childhood. I think since at the age of four I was always playing with the ball and bat,” explained the aggressive right-hander.
“Before cricket I was in to Athletics, I ran the 100, 200 and 400 races. I got interesting in cricket at a very young age because I was always following my older brothers around so when they used to play cricket in Lodge where we all grew up.
I would go outside and play with them so when I was in grade 6 our school was picked a team to play in the Al Sport Windball competition. I went to the trials and was picked as the captain. From there I was picked for the Guyana female Windball team to play in the Windball tournament in Barbados and since then cricket was something I love,” said Thompson, who was hitting sixes as a school girl.
“I must say I didn’t have no big challenges growing up.
Yes, as girls we were allowed to play cricket and it was easy because the bigger boys would always give us batting and bowling, in our case we would get two chances to bat.
She said girls were encouraged to play cricket at both primary and secondary school.
“I played for Ghandi youth club in the 2nd Division tournament, Police sports club and Hibiscus Female club in Trinidad and Tobago,” informed Thompson who says she prefers bowling to batting.
Her most memorable match playing for Guyana was when Guyana beat Barbados in the semi-finals in Dominica in 2015.
“We were so happy going to finals for the first time and also was a great feeling to defeat such a big team as well.
My most memorable moment in cricket was in 2018 when I was selected in the female Franchise Tournament held in Trinidad, I played for LCB Central Sharks along with fellow Guyanese and West Indies player Shemaine Campbell. We won the tournament that year and it was a great feeling,” Thompson said.
Only the present West Indies Women’s players are contracted and the experienced all-rounder give her views on female cricket locally.
“For me I think more tournaments should be played for the women cricketers, get some of the females contracted or have a franchise league to get us playing as much cricket as possible so that when the regional competitions come around we can be more prepared and ready to win the tournaments,” said Thompson.
Thompson said that apart from cricket she works with her friend Kerisa Christian who owns an online shipping business when is not playing.
“I don’t have just one favorite cricketer. I have five cricketers who I love and admire very much starting with Chris Gayle. Virat Kholi, Ms Dhoni, Ab DeVillers and Andre Russell are the others,” said Thompson whose one wish would be to have world peace.
The Police Sports Club player also spoke about the Global Pandemic which has shut down sports.
“Well it’s tough for me because I really miss playing cricket but I try to push in as much work outs at home,” added the pacer.
Thompson said if you’re not contracted by CWI, you have to still work part time in order to balance yourself.
“I play in Trinidad and we have Tremayne Smartt and Heema Singh playing in the USA Women’s club tournament.
“I would like to thank the Al Sports Promotions, that’s where I started playing first, Ms Bowen and the hibiscus Club, my parents, Coach Orin Bailey, Coach Andre Percival and Coach Linden Fraser. Mr Fraser would always send me drills and call almost every day to encourage me and my family and friends who always supporting me,” continued Thompson.
“To all the young ladies who want to play cricket, follow your dream, train, work hard, be discipline and success will come around, don’t give up,” Thompson advised.
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