INTERVIEW: 12-year-old Niamh bowling for the stars

Rushdi Jappie with young cricketer Niamh Robertson-Jack
Rushdi Jappie with young cricketer Niamh Robertson-Jack

Niamh Robertson-Jack is 12 years old and has been playing cricket for just over a year but that hasn’t stopped her taking wickets in men’s matches.

She was the talk of Stenhousemuir cricket club when she took four wickets in a victory over Kingholm at the Tryst, with coach Rushdi Jappie tipping the youngster to go right to the very top of the game.

Youngster Niamh Robertson-Jack batting.

Youngster Niamh Robertson-Jack batting.

The 12-year-old has played three times for Stenny’s seconds and has taken five wickets in total, to add to the five she has taken in four matches for the under 16s - which is still a good few years above her age group.

Niamh told the Falkirk Herald about her quick journey and the start of life playing for Stenny.

“I’ve been playing for just over a year.

“I went from playing quick cricket, went up to regional level and now after only a year I’m playing with grown men - it’s a really big step up.”

Niamh, who speaks more like 20 year old than a 12 year old, is determined to continue her rise and match the hopes that coach Rushdi Jappie has for her.

“I’m only 12 and have progressed so far in only a year. I think I can go far.

“I would like to play for England. I want to play for Scotland, but once I’ve done my school work I would like to play for England.

“It’s a high level of cricket here as well, but I would like to get myself out there and play for England.”

Whilst those plans may be a little more long term, Niamh has high hopes for the coming year. When asked where she hopes to be a year along the line, the 12-year-old said: “Playing for the under 17s Scotland squad. “Progressing higher up through cricket and at Stenhousemuir I would hope and like to play for the first team in a year’s time.”

Niamh praised the level of coaching that she has received, and believes that has helped her progress as quickly as she has done.

“The level of coaching that I get from the regional training, from the club and from Rushdi - it does help a lot.

“It helps me progress higher. The coaching and the people at the club who are always so nice and welcoming.

“That makes it enjoyable - it’s nice having people that you know will welcome you and help you along the way.”

Niamh’s coach Rushdi Jappie told the Falkirk Herald that Niamh is one of the most talented players he has ever worked with.

“With the ability that she has, and the growth she has already shown - I think she can reach the highest level,” he said.

“I think she can play for Scotland easily. She is only 12.”

The South African added that Niamh has the work ethic to match her ability, and that she often has to be told to stop training.

When asked about her overtraining, Niamh laughed: “Yeah, hat’s true, that’s true.

“The more effort you put in, the more will come back to you.

“I put so much effort into training, that’s why I’m taking all the wickets and doing well.”

Niamh’s journey continues this weekend as Stenny’s seconds host Glenpark. If things go to plan this will only be a small first step.