It is two years to the day since Haddy Wally received the phone call she will never forget.
The captain and a left-hander of The Gambia National Women’s Cricket team, made her international debut for The Gambia in 2018 in an African Junior Cricket Championship game in Ghana. Half way into that game, she was informed that her mother had died.
“I felt devastated at that moment,” she recalls. It was so difficult for me to finish the game.
The beaming smiles that would lit up a dressing room during half time, gives way to something altogether more thoughtful as Haddy recalls the nightmare that unfolded in Ghana. “I suspected that something wasn’t right during the break, my coaches were so somber and they couldn’t look into my eyes as they do the team talking. Normally, during half times or breaks, my coaches will ask me to cheer up the team and boost confidence, but this time around it didn’t happen that way, though I wasn’t thinking something terrible might happen to my mother or any of my family members.”
“Before the game resumes for the final quarter, a call came in again from my aunty to say my mother has passed on. “I can remember that she was insisting to my coaches to let me know about the news no matter what happen. I was devastated and I felt so horrible, “she recalls.
However, despite the bad news and the devastation that followed, Haddy went on to complete the game for the love of her country and cricket. Though The Gambia lost, Haddy was praised for her performance and strength.
“I had to force myself to play for The Gambia because they needed me at that time and so I gave everything I could, “she tells The Chronicle.
Haddy pays tribute to her mother and the role she played in her cricket career. “She was always there for me, “she said. She was always my rock. She even gave me the money to process my travel documents to travel to Ghana for my first national game. She invested her money, her energy and everything else just for me to succeed. I pray that her soul rest in peace.”
Meanwhile, Haddy plays football too. She’s an integral member of the Gambia National Women’s U20 football team.
Growing up in the buzzing town of Serekunda, Haddy’s love for both football and cricket started at a very young age. Her parents supported and encouraged her to do sports first for fun. But as she grew up, she took the game more seriously and started looking at it as a career. And her hard work and dedication paid.
“My parents definitely supported me and I’ve always dreamt of making my mother proud. “It’s unfortunate that she’s not alive to witness all these but I know she’s proud of me wherever she is.”
Haddy was the goal equalizer for the Gambia against Burkina Faso in a World Cup preliminary Qualifier earlier this year in Ouagadougou, though Gambia lost 3-2.