By Jake Beleski
Masterton local and former Central Districts representative Esther Lanser is relishing the opportunity to finally represent her home province at senior women’s cricket.
The Wairarapa Korus will be the region’s first senior women’s side in over a decade, and Lanser said she was excited about the challenge of bringing together a new-look team, which she will captain.
“I think the last time Wairarapa had a team was about 2004 when Liz Perry was still playing here. I played under-15s and under-18s here but never got to play for the senior side. I probably would have but my parents had a rule about no sports on Sundays.”
Lanser, a physical education teacher at Chanel College, has plenty of cricket experience to call upon having played 20 matches for the Netherlands’ international side from 2010-11.
“It was really different over there but I learnt a lot about myself as a person and enjoyed doing something a little bit different. My first major international tour was to South Africa, and then Sri Lanka and Bangladesh so that was an amazing experience as well.”
After returning to New Zealand Lanser continued to play for CD until 2012, but had no ambitions of relaunching that part of her career.
“I made a decision about four and a half years ago that being a fulltime sports person and having a fulltime job, it doesn’t really work. I had a change of heart in terms of where my priorities were in my life and wanted to spend time with the people that I love instead of chasing around a white leather ball, which at some level is what it is.”
She spent the last few seasons playing for Whanganui, but was excited about the opportunity to captain a bunch of young girls and give back to a sport that had given her a lot, she said.
“I captained the Whanganui team and I’ve captained the CD development side so I’ve had a bit of experience with leading a team.”
The Korus squad has been training since July, with preparations ramped up in recent weeks to make sure they are ready for their opening clash with Manawatu on October 30.
“It’s been a really good pre-season. Simon Roseingrave [Korus coach] has been amazing – we’ve started to hit some nets and open wickets and the girls played on the weekend and went really well.”
Lanser was keeping an open mind about what the side could achieve this season, with no particular goals set.
“I’m not really a goals person – I kind of want to just stay in the moment as much as I can and lead from the front. Hopefully I can be a positive influence and give as much to the team as I can. I would like everyone to enjoy themselves and learn from the experiences.”