Trenaman enhances reputation as Aussie prodigy

At just 16-years-old, the rising talent has crashed a stunning century against international-calibre attack several years older

Nick Duxson

16 April 2018, 04:00 PM AEST

Rachel Trenaman is one of Australia's most exciting young cricketers. And the 16-year-old only served to further enhance that reputation with a spectacular century as captain of the national Under-19 team in South Africa.

Trenaman, the first-year NSW Breakers and Sydney Thunder allrounder, produced a blistering knock of 122 from just 124 deliveries to lead her team to a thumping victory against South Africa Emerging Women in their second match of the international tri-series also featuring England Women's Academy.

"It's pretty special," Trenaman said.

"I didn't play a lot of cricket over the summer, so being able to get some runs under my belt and for my country is something pretty special and I'll cherish no doubt for the rest of my life.

"I started pretty slowly and knew I had just had to stick around for the team, that's what we needed. The first 50 came off about 70-odd balls, and the next off 30, so it definitely got a lot easier."

Trenaman combined with fellow NSW Breaker Tahlia Wilson (76 runs) for a 119-run stand after the loss of two early wickets, powering to a century from just 103 balls.

In the process, she joined fellow New South Wales products Jason Sangha (2016) and Jack Edwards (2017) as players in recent years to have scored centuries for Australia at under-19 level while still 16 years of age.

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It had already been a big summer for the rising star, full of cricket commitments - albeit without a lot of actual time on the park.

Trenaman, from Wagga Wagga in regional New South Wales, captained ACT/NSW Country to the Under-18 National Championships title, and played a handful of games combined between her local men's competition and in Sydney's premier women's competition.

But outside of that, game time was limited as she spent a lot of time in and around the NSW Breakers and Sydney Thunder squads without being able to crack into the starting XIs.

"The last six months have been pretty hectic," Trenaman said.

"Being based regionally in Wagga and about a six-hour drive from Sydney is not ideal (for cricket), but Cricket NSW have been really accomodating in allowing me to stay in Wagga and continue to attend to my school work and train from home, so that's been fantastic.

"(There's been) a few trips to Sydney throughout the school holidays, I've been up there pretty much every day.

"Before that it was Under-18 National Championships, winning that title and then a one-day turnover to Big Bash and spending the whole season up in Sydney with the Thunder, then travelling a bit towards the end with the WNCL side. It's been really, really busy."

While disappointed not to be able to break into the strong NSW Breakers and Sydney Thunder sides, Trenaman said it had been a phenomenal learning experience, getting to spend time with the likes of Rachael Haynes, Alex Blackwell and others.

"To be around players like Rachael Haynes and Alex Blackwell for eight weeks over the summer, it's just invaluable - you can't beat it," she said.

"You don't even have to have conversations to pick up little things, whether it's watching them in the nets or observing the way they go about their business."

For now, the focus is on representing Australia at under-19 level - continuing to contribute to wins for the team and continuing to improve as a player and a leader.

In the years to come, Trenaman hopes one day to feature on the biggest stage for Australia.

"Long term absolutely, but at the moment I'm still young, I'm only 16 - nearly 17 - and still at school," she said. "There's a lot more focuses short-term, and just continuing my development. This tour's a great opportunity to do that, both skill-wise in a different country, but also with my leadership skills. Ultimately (that's the goal), but it's not the focus right now."

The level-headed teen knows there's still a big challenge ahead to claim the tri-series, despite Australia starting the tournament in perfect fashion with two wins from two games.

"I couldn't have asked for a better start obviously," Trenaman said. "But you never win a series in the first game or the second, it always what comes down in the end at the final, so (we need) to keep improving.

"We haven't really put a complete performance on the board yet, so (we want to) just keep improving on different elements and hopefully we can put it all together at the end."