Amy Hunter ready for next challenge after writing name into history books
A little over one month ago Ireland Women’s Amy Hunter wrote her name in world cricket’s record books by becoming the youngest international centurion (men or women) during a One-Day International against Zimbabwe.
This week she returns to that southern African nation to compete in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Global Qualifier.
Belfast-born Hunter, 16, hit an unbeaten 121 in the fourth ODI of the series between Ireland Women and Zimbabwe Women in Harare on 11 October 2021 – which was her 16th birthday.
She has now returned to Zimbabwe with the Ireland Women’s squad for the World Cup Qualifier tournament, and is looking forward to the event that will see Ireland take on West Indies, Sri Lanka and Netherlands in the Group Stage.
The side took on Thailand yesterday in a warm-up match, with another game against Pakistan scheduled on Friday.
Speaking after training at Old Georgians Sports Club tbis week, Hunter reflected on her record-breaking inning.
“It was pure relief and delight, to be honest. I found out about the record during the innings break, but didn’t fully understand how big it was until after the game,” she said.
“The girls and management were delighted for me as I’d obviously gone through a bit of a tough patch just previously. I had hardly done one interview before, so it was quite a shock to do all the ones that followed.
“It is not something that I ever would’ve expected and while it was an amazing experience, it was definitely new territory and unlike anything I’d experienced before.”
“It was definitely a day I will cherish forever and never forget. It was a bit surreal to be honest, I have grown up watching Mithali Raj on TV so for her to tweet about me was an incredible feeling.”
Hunter has worked closely with Ed Joyce this year and said the advice she received had been ‘invaluable’.
“I’ve worked pretty closely with Ed [Joyce] this season - primarily on game plans and mindset,” she said.
“I’ve always struggled with batting for long periods of time, but Ed has been invaluable to work with.
“The whole management team, particularly Ed and Glenn Querl (Assistant Coach) just told me to be really positive at the crease and back my skills. No one put pressure on me despite previous low scores, the girls and were so supportive and just kept reassuring me and backing me.”
Hunter started playing cricket when she was around eight at Instonians Cricket Club, playing with the boys in the Under-11s ‘C’ team. After a few years, she featured in the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) Boys Under-11s representative side, and also played her first women’s Super Series match at the age of 11.
This led to her selection for the Ireland Girls Under-15s. The following year in 2017 she was selected for the Ireland Women’s Under-19s and was named in the Shapoorji Pallonji Cricket Ireland Academy.
Looking ahead to the upcoming qualifying tournament, Hunter added: “Going into the Qualifier, we are hoping that if we play our best cricket we can come in the top five and qualify for the ICC Women’s Championship.
“This will be a huge step in the right direction for us as it will ensure we have regular fixtures against the best sides in the world.”
Ireland Women start the tournament on November 23 against West Indies.