Natalie Sciver: From globetrotting childhood to England all-rounder

By Amy LofthouseBBC Kick Off reporter
Natalie Sciver runs out South Africa's Moseline Daniels
Sciver balances her cricket commitments with studying for a degree at Loughborough University

For a job that involves constant travelling for much of the year, England all-rounder Natalie Sciver might be over-qualified.

Born in Tokyo, Sciver has lived in Japan, Poland and the Netherlands, playing a different sport in each country, before settling in England and on a career in cricket.

"My mum works for the foreign office and gets various postings in England and abroad," the 22-year-old, who is now based in Surrey, told BBC Sport.

"I played in the women's football league in Poland and I was about 12 playing with a load of 22-year-olds. That was an experience.

All about Natalie Sciver
Born: 20 August, 1992 in Tokyo
Right-arm medium-fast bowler and right-hand bat
Teams: Surrey and England
Made 49 and 23 in her debut Test match against Australia at Perth
Became the first England player to take T20 hat-trick in a spell of 4-21 against New Zealand

"Moving around a lot helped me to be who I am today. Travelling around all over the place doesn't really affect me.

"I moved country every four or five years so I had to adapt to that; different schools, different languages and different people.

"I think I've come out at the other end better for it. It was really enjoyable to just see the world a bit more."

There are very few sports Sciver has not turned her hand to. She played hockey and tennis in England before settling on cricket - even now, she finds time for a few rounds of golf in between her commitments with bat and a larger ball.

Sciver is one of a new generation of England women's cricketers, newly professional and with a financially-viable career in the sport.

Natalie Sciver
Sciver has tried almost every sport except horse-riding - but only because she is scared of horses

She made her Test debut against Australia in last winter's Ashes, scoring a total of 72 runs and taking one wicket in England's 61-run victory at Perth.

She also played in the recent series against India, where the home side lost the Test match but fought back to win the one-day international series 2-0, and is now preparing to face South Africa in three T20 games, starting on Monday at Chelmsford.

"After the Test match we were disappointed to lose, but after the quick turnaround in the ODIs we're feeling pretty confident," said Sciver.

"I want to solidify my place in the team and put in the performances that I know I can do and become more reliable and consistent.

"It's good being an all-rounder. If one doesn't go so well, you've got the other to fall back on.

T20 series: England v South Africa
1 September: Chelmsford (18:30 BST)
3 September: Northampton (18:30 BST)
7 September: Edgbaston (10:30 BST)

"It's a definite aim to get them both going on the same day, but I wouldn't want to be in any other position.

"I like being involved in the game and I wouldn't want to go 50 overs without breaking it up with one or the other."

Sciver fell into cricket as a teenager, playing games against her dad and brother in her back garden, before joining Surrey club Stoke d'Abernon.

She played the usual games against boys' teams. "They didn't like it so much when a girl bowled them out," she joked.

Natalie Sciver
Sciver made an impact with the bat in Australia, falling one run short of a half-century on her Test debut

Her performances led to her being selected for Surrey's academy, which became the pathway to an international career that began when she was selected for England's limited-overs series against Pakistan in 2013.

It was not until last October that Sciver made her big impact at the top level, becoming the first England player to take a T20 hat-trick in Barbados.

Bowling the 19th over in the deciding group match of a tri-series involving New Zealand and West Indies, Sciver had the Kiwis' Maddie Green caught by Holly Colvin, then bowled Erin Bermingham and trapped Frances Mackay lbw off successive balls to finish with 4-21 and help England into the final.

"I think it was mostly luck on the first wicket," she admitted. "She tried to paddle me but it went to short fine-leg, which was ideal.

"It was towards the end of the innings and they could still get away with the game, but what we talk about is bowling at the stumps and being a threat.

"That's what I did and it worked out really well. I think that's the first hat-trick I've ever taken in any cricket game."

England v India results
13-16 August: India win Test by six wickets at Wormsley
21 August: England win first ODI by 42 runs (D/L) at Scarborough
23 August: England win second ODI by 13 runs at Scarborough
25 August: Third ODI at Lord's abandoned - England win series 2-0

Despite the increase in financial support from the England and Wales Cricket Board and new sponsors, Sciver is one of many England players who balance a career in cricket with university.

She studies Sports and Exercise Sciences at Loughborough University, and admits it has been hard to combine touring with studying for a degree.

"The university have been really good. They've let me go part-time in my third year so I can split it over two years but I am going to end up taking exams all over the world," she added.

England women's cricket team
England's women bounced back from a disappointing Test defeat by India to win the ODI series

"When we were in Australia for the Ashes in the winter I was revising for my exams. I've done exams in Bangladesh, I've done some in India.

"It's been interesting - the team manager's probably not enjoyed it as much as I have."

Listen to radio commentary of England women's cricket fixtures on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or at

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