How do most bloggers come to the surface? Especially if they’re interested in cricket… and a female university student? Well, it’s been a slight journey, and I’m definitely excited for the outcomes and opportunities.
Well, let’s start off with the formalities: My name is Khomotso Makgabutlane, also known as Corker Yorker. I am 20 years old (21 in five months if I may add), and an English and Communication Science Major in second year. I am also the founder of an ‘in-construction-for-greater-things’ cricket blog, and a passionate follower of the sport.
How did it all come to this? How did I get here?
It’s been an interesting time. I had watched my first cricket match with my older sister when I was 14 years old. I got into cricket quite late, because I could never understand why this sport playing on SABC 3 always delayed the start of Isidingo at 6:30pm weekdays.
She then asked me “do you even know what’s going on?” Obviously I didn’t, which is why I was so annoyed. So she explained it to me as quickly as she could, and five minutes later I was yelling at Vernon Philander for dropping the simplest of catches.
As high school went on, I kept up with the score updates of the Proteas; I never really had time to watch a match. I did, however, keep checking to see if I still remembered the rules by watching my high school team play against other schools. It didn’t last long though – homework was always a menace.
A fond, but very upsetting memory I have of keeping up with this sport was in 2015. If you know where I’m going with this, let’s cry together. It was the semi-final between the Proteas and New Zealand (who are also known as the Black Caps). The 24th of March was a grim day indeed. We were playing for a spot in the final of the Cricket World Cup. A couple of guys in my class were live streaming the game using the school’s WiFi, watching Dale Steyn bowl the last over to Grant Elliott. As he smashed the winning six to win the match, we all sunk on our desks in disappointment. The atmosphere at school was so dense and sad; I just wanted to get home as soon as I could.
When I matriculated in 2016, I found myself having a lot more time on my hands while waiting for my first year of college to start. So I started watching more and more cricket that played on TV. The SA under 19s did terribly in the U19 World Cup, but I was hooked. Every Proteas series that took place that year was played on full blast at home. The feeling I got when I went to my first cricket match LIVE was unexplainable. Everything that was happening was in real time, including my fear of being hit with the ball.
It was the 2nd of October 2016. I watched as the Proteas beat the Australians in ruthless fashion. Simply amazing does not even describe it. Being surrounded by people who love the game just as much as I do was a feeling I could never feel again for the first time. I want to feel that pride and happiness whenever I go to a match in the future. The feeling of me being at this match had ignited something in me that told me I should start a cricket blog… but I didn’t just yet. I would always converse with people on Twitter about the recent match or series happening, and I had met some pretty cool people. Thanks to some networking and following the right social media accounts, I got to meet the Proteas twice. Two amazing encounters I will never forget.
The self-doubt and uncertainty I felt in starting a blog all changed when the 24th of January of this year arrived. Other students, me included, were called to a company in the interest of awarding a bursary for the academic year. In the interview, I had spoken about my passion for cricket and wanting to become a sports journalist. The panel gave me that extra push to finally start my blog to have something to show potential employees. While I didn’t get the bursary, I got the confidence and motivation to open my blog page. Corker Yorker was born.
Since I started my account, I’ve managed to converse with many other fans from around the world. I’ve managed to become really close friends with someone in Cape Town, originally from London, who also has her own YouTube account (The Popping Crease) dedicated to cricket. We’ve been boosting each other up, and my only hope is that she gets more recognition and exposure. We are both women of colour, there is a massive age gap between us (which I find quite funny), but we’re connected from the sport we love so much. I’ve also been recruited for experience by a sports website in England to write part time for them on cricket. Am I getting paid? We’ll discuss that later.
What about Corker Yorker going into the future? Well, I’d like to go to New Zealand and meet Kane Williamson, go to Australia and see if Mitchell Starc is as fast in driving as he is bowling, go to India to shake Virat Kohli’s hand, go to England to see if Kolpak players are still satisfied, and tell Ben Stokes to chill out. I would love to see all the popular stadiums that my favourite players have played in, and experience the global cricket culture. But for now, I just want to share my opinions with others and build a name for myself as a cricket writer whom players can feel comfortable with when being interviewed.
It’s going to be difficult due to me being black, and a female interested in a male-predominant sport, but I never say no to a challenge. Women are getting into cricket in more ways than one. I am so ready for my blog to take off, and jet across the world. Until then, I need to carry on with the hustle of getting my undergraduate degree.