edge

Bowling for Cascade

My name is Jade Rodriguez and I played cricket for Peru.

I’m half-Dominican, half-Trinidadian, born in the Dominican Republic. Mummy was a diplomat and we moved around A LOT! The only places we’d constantly go back to were Trinidad and the DR. Mummy never let me ever forget my ties to either of those cultures, the only constants in my life full of change.

Most of my Trinidadian relatives live in Cascade and that’s where I feel most at home. I first went to Trinidad when I was two months old and Mummy took the new baby to meet the Trini family. My grandpa didn’t even know Mummy had brought me to Trinidad. She left me in a basket on the doorstep of my grandpa’s house, rang the bell and hid. He opened the door, picked me up, took me inside, closed the door. No reaction. That pretty much defines my relationship with my grandpa now.

My grandpa used to umpire my matches. Whenever I went in to bat, the first thing he’d say to me is, “You’re out.” Anything going down leg side, he’d say, “You’re out!” Any ball he thought could have nicked my bat, I was out. He didn’t even care what the other umpire said, he gave me out. Then he’d tell me, [as I left the crease], “Do better [next time].”

I’m supposed to be in England now, playing cricket for the University of East London. But. Covid. Lockdown. Luckily, I can train where I am, in Barbados. I’m trying to play for Newham Cricket Club [after covid].

I’m graduating from university in May. I’m 20.

I’m studying film and telling BC Pires he just can’t ask a filmmaker what her favourite film is. There are too many. But, since we’re talking about cricket, one of my favourite films is Fire in Babylon. Mummy showed me that documentary about West Indies cricket and I decided NOBODY was going to make me into a spinner. I was going to be a pace bowler. I know I’m short, but I want to be Curtly Ambrose.

I started training in cricket when I got to Peru when I was nine. I had the longest run-up in history ‘cause I was too young to understand it wasn’t the run-up that gives you the speed. I would go to the boundary, raise my arm high in the sky and yell, “Jade ball!” And then run. By the time I got all the way to the bowling crease, I’d be so tired, I’d throw the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head! I thought, Hmmm; maybe I need a shorter run-up.

Stationed in England, Mummy kept telling me, “I have to introduce you to cricket before we go to Peru, because they don’t play cricket there!” But then she waited until days before we left to take me to the Oval in London to see West Indies v Australia. We were the only people in the stadium with a huge West Indies flag. I had no idea what was going on but I was so happy and jumpy and excited, I fell completely in love with cricket in that moment. And then we left England. And I was, like, “You mean I could have been playing cricket all that time?”

In Peru, my mother was nine months pregnant with my brother, Gael, wearing the West Indies T-shirt she bought at the Oval and this man comes up to her at a pantomime and asks, “You play cricket?” My mother, fibbing, said, “Yeah, I dabble.” He said, “You know how to score a cricket match?” She said, “Of course!” – but she ent know how to score! He invited her to score his game at Lima Cricket Club, the oldest club in Latin America. She said yes. And then spent the days in-between learning how to score. She took me with her to every Saturday match and tried to get me to score with her, but I always got distracted, like, three dots in, and went to the boundary. I used to imitate the bowlers, run up with them, copy their actions. Every Saturday. Eventually, the guys noticed me and took me to the nets.

When I was ten, my mom formed the first female cricket team in Peru and we competed in the South American championships. It all snowballed after that. I started playing with women and girls’ teams.

This one time, I tried to go for this catch on the boundary, and Mummy was screaming, from the scoring hut, “Noooooo!” Cause I was small and it was the bigleagues. I think I was 12. I couldn’t hold on to it because it was a really hard catch but I was proud I tried. But my mom was, like, “What the hell?”[From that], they realised the women’s team wasn’t enough, I needed more training. They made a special petition for me to play on the U-13 and, later, the U-17 boys team.

We didn’t have coaches in early Peru days so whoever had the natural ability to bowl, would bowl. Those who had a predisposition to bat, would bat. The bowlers would bowl to the batsmen and that’s how we trained. We had no all-rounders because you never got the chance to train in anything else.

I am a bowler but I’m trying to be an all-rounder. I can hold things down as a middle-order batsman but I’m not a big hitter yet. But I’m practising. I love fielding on the boundary. My throwing arm needs work but I don’t let balls get past me. I like sliding dramatically to scoop up a ball just as it’s about to cross the boundary.

I first played for the Peru national team when I was ten, in the women’s tournament. Everybody else was in their 20s and 30s. And I was opening the bowling for Peru. The Brazilians nicknamed me Chaverinha, “Little Keychain”.

In my first game playing for Peru, I bowled the first ball wide. The second ball was even wider. On the third ball, Mummy, from the boundary, shouted, “Jade, picture the batsman is me telling me you can never have Nutella again!” The next ball, LBW. And that person was the best batsman of the tournament! That was also the first wicket for Peru in international women’s cricket, against Argentina, the reigning champions, the Australians of South America. Same sledging. The same rivalry between Brazil and Argentina in football exists in cricket and ain’t never going to die! The best bowler of the tournament only took one wicket more than me.

In that 2010 tournament, they reclassified the Best Fielder award and renamed it the Revelation of Cricket. The Future of Cricket. So they could give it to me.

We lived in Peru for seven years and I played for the national women’s cricket team for all that time. Cricket took me to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, South Africa, and, in the US, Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia and Texas. And, now, Barbados.

Brazilians is spearheading South American cricket. They play cricket with the same flair they play football. In-between overs, they’re dancing on the field. They have songs for each occasion. The women’s team kind of adopted me and took me to Brazil with them for a month, playing cricket.

Cricket kinda saved my life. My identity wasn’t really accepted in Peru. Lima is a very classist society and supposedly international schools are 99 per cent Peruvian, mostly European descendants, mainly white people. I looked more Peruvian than them. And they didn’t really accept that. [Or, really, any] kind of non-conformity. As a teenager at high school, it’s very hard to see there’s a world outside of that. And, the more you try to fit in, the more you lose yourself. Cricket, for me, was a way of getting back in touch with my identity.

I don’t know if I will ever play cricket professionally. But I don’t think I will ever stop playing for myself.

Anywhere in the world, every time I see anything about sharks, even if it’s a Great White, I want to go to Maracas Beach. And have some shark-and-bake.

I sat my mom and my stepfather down and told them they could get married. My stepfather was crying. And then I ran off, shouting, “I’m going to be a flower girl!” That’s the only reason I allowed her to get married again. My mom got remarried in Tobago. And all my family from everywhere was there for it and I saw everybody together. I usually see this person this year, that person, next year. So I love Tobago as much as Trinidad, because my mother’s wedding is the fondest memory I have of Trinidad & Tobago. So Tobago becomes as special as Trinidad.

I am accepting donations to help me get back to Trinidad.

People always make some assumption about what makes you what you are. They’ll say, you’re from this country because you were born there. Or, you’ve lived there the longest, so you’re from there. You have to decide for yourself.

My mom is a very proud Trini woman. And she raised me. And I feel that, if you have a Trini mom who boofs you 24/7, then YOU are a Trini. I’m not taking that amount of abuse and being called anything else!

A lot of the things that are markers of my identity – cricket, music, my mom – come from Trinidad. Trinidad & Tobago is what ties me together. It’s produced so many important things in my life. So, when I think about Trinidad, I think of myself.



Bowling for Cascade

My name is Jade Rodriguez and I played cricket for Peru.

I’m half-Dominican, half-Trinidadian, born in the Dominican Republic. Mummy was a diplomat and we moved around A LOT! The only places we’d constantly go back to were Trinidad and the DR. Mummy never let me ever forget my ties to either of those cultures, the only constants in my life full of change.

Most of my Trinidadian relatives live in Cascade and that’s where I feel most at home. I first went to Trinidad when I was two months old and Mummy took the new baby to meet the Trini family. My grandpa didn’t even know Mummy had brought me to Trinidad. She left me in a basket on the doorstep of my grandpa’s house, rang the bell and hid. He opened the door, picked me up, took me inside, closed the door. No reaction. That pretty much defines my relationship with my grandpa now.

My grandpa used to umpire my matches. Whenever I went in to bat, the first thing he’d say to me is, “You’re out.” Anything going down leg side, he’d say, “You’re out!” Any ball he thought could have nicked my bat, I was out. He didn’t even care what the other umpire said, he gave me out. Then he’d tell me, [as I left the crease], “Do better [next time].”

I’m supposed to be in England now, playing cricket for the University of East London. But. Covid. Lockdown. Luckily, I can train where I am, in Barbados. I’m trying to play for Newham Cricket Club [after covid].

I’m graduating from university in May. I’m 20.

I’m studying film and telling BC Pires he just can’t ask a filmmaker what her favourite film is. There are too many. But, since we’re talking about cricket, one of my favourite films is Fire in Babylon. Mummy showed me that documentary about West Indies cricket and I decided NOBODY was going to make me into a spinner. I was going to be a pace bowler. I know I’m short, but I want to be Curtly Ambrose.

I started training in cricket when I got to Peru when I was nine. I had the longest run-up in history ‘cause I was too young to understand it wasn’t the run-up that gives you the speed. I would go to the boundary, raise my arm high in the sky and yell, “Jade ball!” And then run. By the time I got all the way to the bowling crease, I’d be so tired, I’d throw the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head! I thought, Hmmm; maybe I need a shorter run-up.

Stationed in England, Mummy kept telling me, “I have to introduce you to cricket before we go to Peru, because they don’t play cricket there!” But then she waited until days before we left to take me to the Oval in London to see West Indies v Australia. We were the only people in the stadium with a huge West Indies flag. I had no idea what was going on but I was so happy and jumpy and excited, I fell completely in love with cricket in that moment. And then we left England. And I was, like, “You mean I could have been playing cricket all that time?”

In Peru, my mother was nine months pregnant with my brother, Gael, wearing the West Indies T-shirt she bought at the Oval and this man comes up to her at a pantomime and asks, “You play cricket?” My mother, fibbing, said, “Yeah, I dabble.” He said, “You know how to score a cricket match?” She said, “Of course!” – but she ent know how to score! He invited her to score his game at Lima Cricket Club, the oldest club in Latin America. She said yes. And then spent the days in-between learning how to score. She took me with her to every Saturday match and tried to get me to score with her, but I always got distracted, like, three dots in, and went to the boundary. I used to imitate the bowlers, run up with them, copy their actions. Every Saturday. Eventually, the guys noticed me and took me to the nets.

When I was ten, my mom formed the first female cricket team in Peru and we competed in the South American championships. It all snowballed after that. I started playing with women and girls’ teams.

This one time, I tried to go for this catch on the boundary, and Mummy was screaming, from the scoring hut, “Noooooo!” Cause I was small and it was the bigleagues. I think I was 12. I couldn’t hold on to it because it was a really hard catch but I was proud I tried. But my mom was, like, “What the hell?”[From that], they realised the women’s team wasn’t enough, I needed more training. They made a special petition for me to play on the U-13 and, later, the U-17 boys team.

We didn’t have coaches in early Peru days so whoever had the natural ability to bowl, would bowl. Those who had a predisposition to bat, would bat. The bowlers would bowl to the batsmen and that’s how we trained. We had no all-rounders because you never got the chance to train in anything else.

I am a bowler but I’m trying to be an all-rounder. I can hold things down as a middle-order batsman but I’m not a big hitter yet. But I’m practising. I love fielding on the boundary. My throwing arm needs work but I don’t let balls get past me. I like sliding dramatically to scoop up a ball just as it’s about to cross the boundary.

I first played for the Peru national team when I was ten, in the women’s tournament. Everybody else was in their 20s and 30s. And I was opening the bowling for Peru. The Brazilians nicknamed me Chaverinha, “Little Keychain”.

In my first game playing for Peru, I bowled the first ball wide. The second ball was even wider. On the third ball, Mummy, from the boundary, shouted, “Jade, picture the batsman is me telling me you can never have Nutella again!” The next ball, LBW. And that person was the best batsman of the tournament! That was also the first wicket for Peru in international women’s cricket, against Argentina, the reigning champions, the Australians of South America. Same sledging. The same rivalry between Brazil and Argentina in football exists in cricket and ain’t never going to die! The best bowler of the tournament only took one wicket more than me.

In that 2010 tournament, they reclassified the Best Fielder award and renamed it the Revelation of Cricket. The Future of Cricket. So they could give it to me.

We lived in Peru for seven years and I played for the national women’s cricket team for all that time. Cricket took me to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, South Africa, and, in the US, Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia and Texas. And, now, Barbados.

Brazilians is spearheading South American cricket. They play cricket with the same flair they play football. In-between overs, they’re dancing on the field. They have songs for each occasion. The women’s team kind of adopted me and took me to Brazil with them for a month, playing cricket.

Cricket kinda saved my life. My identity wasn’t really accepted in Peru. Lima is a very classist society and supposedly international schools are 99 per cent Peruvian, mostly European descendants, mainly white people. I looked more Peruvian than them. And they didn’t really accept that. [Or, really, any] kind of non-conformity. As a teenager at high school, it’s very hard to see there’s a world outside of that. And, the more you try to fit in, the more you lose yourself. Cricket, for me, was a way of getting back in touch with my identity.

I don’t know if I will ever play cricket professionally. But I don’t think I will ever stop playing for myself.

Anywhere in the world, every time I see anything about sharks, even if it’s a Great White, I want to go to Maracas Beach. And have some shark-and-bake.

I sat my mom and my stepfather down and told them they could get married. My stepfather was crying. And then I ran off, shouting, “I’m going to be a flower girl!” That’s the only reason I allowed her to get married again. My mom got remarried in Tobago. And all my family from everywhere was there for it and I saw everybody together. I usually see this person this year, that person, next year. So I love Tobago as much as Trinidad, because my mother’s wedding is the fondest memory I have of Trinidad & Tobago. So Tobago becomes as special as Trinidad.

I am accepting donations to help me get back to Trinidad.

People always make some assumption about what makes you what you are. They’ll say, you’re from this country because you were born there. Or, you’ve lived there the longest, so you’re from there. You have to decide for yourself.

My mom is a very proud Trini woman. And she raised me. And I feel that, if you have a Trini mom who boofs you 24/7, then YOU are a Trini. I’m not taking that amount of abuse and being called anything else!

A lot of the things that are markers of my identity – cricket, music, my mom – come from Trinidad. Trinidad & Tobago is what ties me together. It’s produced so many important things in my life. So, when I think about Trinidad, I think of myself.