8 league titles, 7 T20 crowns, Hong Kong captain and she’s only 21 – Mariko Hill
Willow Wielders player is looking forward to major tournaments for Hong Kong at the end of the year
At 21, most athletes would be looking forward to initially establishing themselves at domestic level and picking up a title or two along the way while eyeing national selection.
Hong Kong cricketer Mariko Hillhas already earned a career worth of honours. She has won eight league titles in a row and seven T20 titles. She is also Hong Kong captain.
The Hong Kong Cricket Club Willow Wielders player started when she was 14 and is already one of the most decorated women’s cricketers in Asia after her team won an eighth straight Women’s League crown. They were beaten by HKCC Cavaliers in the T20 league, having previously won seven in a row.
“Winning eight in a row is a great achievement not only as an individual but as a club as a whole. We are probably one of the first teams to achieve this and shows how consistent we are,” said Hill.
“It definitely ranks up there with one of my proudest achievements. We actually didn’t realise it straight after the game but when you think about it, eight years in a row is incredible.
“We also won seven T20 leagues in a row, which would have been eight if we weren’t beaten this year, so it’s quite remarkable.”
Hill reflected on her changing role within the team, from a bouncy teenager to a player who has emerged as a standard-bearer for women’s cricket in Hong Kong.
“It’s different now, I used to be the young one that just turned up and had fun on the field, but now being a senior player and Hong Kong captain and a role model, you need to bring a bit of maturity. But that’s not to say we don’t still have fun,” she said.
Hill and her fellow Hong Kong players are now looking forward to important international tournaments towards the end of the year – the ICC Women’s World T20 qualifiers (East Asia Region) in August/September and the East Asia Cup, hosted by Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, despite hosting, were unable to make an impact at last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Series Asia Region.
“There’s a lot coming for women’s cricket, the Hong Kong women’s squad have a lot of players from both our side and the HKCC Cavaliers, which shows the club have a great programme,” she said.
“We’ve got a lot of tournaments coming. In September, we’ve got the Asia Cup and Asia T20 Qualifiers. Looking back at last year we didn’t graft it but we can take that into account and go forward. We don’t want that feeling again of disappointment so I’m looking forward to it.”