A Yorkshire-born club cricketer with Serbian parentage is preparing for what she describes as “a chance of a lifetime” having been invited to get involved in international cricket.

Ana Mesarovic is an all-rounder from Holmfirth with a passion for sport but particularly cricket.

She has played football for Huddersfield Town ladies and basketball for Yorkshire. Now, though, she has eyes on a completely different and exciting challenge.

“I have Serbian heritage on my father’s side of the family,” said Mesarovic, who begins her international journey later this month at a training camp in Belgrade, where she will get a clearer picture of her playing commitments.

“The amazing opportunity dropped on my doorstep in a really nice way just before Christmas, and I’m looking forward to how it progresses.

“I just want to play as much and for as long as I can, and this is another opportunity to do that.”

Mesarovic is in her early thirties and has set up a JustGiving page to fund her international journey. She has reached an initial target of £1,600, though admits that more may be needed dependent on how things progress.

“My first training camp is at the end of the month. I fly over on the 21st for five days to train and meet the team,” she said, speaking on International Women’s Day. “I’m not sure how the calendar works from there.”

Ana Mesarovic

Picture courtesy of Ana Mesarovic. Huddersfield cricketer Ana Mesarovic is chasing an international dream.

“I think Serbia are quite new to the women’s set-up. But they had a few T20 tournaments last year in Romania and Greece.

“The first ICC matches are at the end of May”. 

Mesarovic started playing cricket for Holmfirth, playing Under 13s and Under 15s boys’ cricket given the female game was underdeveloped at that stage.

She continued: “I then had a bit of time out of the game but came back to it initially through softball cricket with Blackley, and I’ve since started playing hardball cricket for Cookridge.

“I got an opportunity at Cookridge to play in their evening midweek games, and it was very much that they wanted me to play for the weekend team as well.

“I’ve loved it at Cookridge. I was driving all the way over from Halifax to the other side of Leeds because I loved it so much.”

Mesarovic’s aims with cricket are by no means limited to her own playing ambitions.

She has not yet given up hope that she could play in a professional environment such as the Northern Diamonds: “That would a dream,” she said.

Ana Mesarovic

Picture courtesy of Ana Mesarovic: Ana in club cricket action.

“I’d love to train with a professional side.

“Even if it’s not playing for them, I’d love to see what they do and get ideas for my game and my coaching because it’s another level up. Any opportunity that comes from it would be amazing.

“I have a good few years left in me if I look after myself, concentrating on fitness, strength and conditioning.”

Mesarovic is also a Level Two qualified coach with ambitions to help young girls progress their own games, be it in Yorkshire and maybe even Serbia.

“Looking back on the opportunities which weren’t available to me in my early teens, I want to help make sure that young girls of that age now do get those opportunities,” she said.

“I want to set up an Under 15s girls hardball in Halifax because there’s nothing for them other than the boys’ game. I want to start that this season, and I’ve managed to get funding from Sport England to help me do that.

“I have recently been training at Cricademia. 

“Cricademia is an amazing high performance centre based in Leeds. More importantly, the coaching staff have been very helpful in my development as a player.

Ana Mesarovic

Picture courtesy of Ana Mesarovic. Could Ana be picking up more silverware in Serbian colours?

“I have learnt so much by spending time at the centre. Ghulam Rafique, the director of cricket at the centre, has assisted in developing my coaching programme, leading to my trip to Serbia.

“I’d also love to help developing cricketers over in Serbia if I can.

“I’m so excited and can’t wait to go out there, play cricket and see what opportunities arise. 

“Hopefully that will inspire people back home and help create more exposure for the women’s game.”

To donate to Ana’s journey, visit her JustGiving page: https://tinyurl.com/zsx79f7r

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