Some of the most intense arguments between Katherine Brunt and Natalie Sciver occur after a cricket match. When they’re pitted against each other, tempers can flare, and feelings can be hurt.
It’s not a problem most couples have. But an increasing number of openly gay female cricketers are experiencing these competitive dilemmas.
The outlet Cricket Monthly recently ran a long feature story on the phenomenon of openly gay female cricket players. While Brunt and Sciver are one of only three engaged or married couples who play on the same international cricket team, there are gay players all over the sport.
The piece focuses on four couples: Brunt and Sciver; South Africa opener Lizelle Lee and Tanja Cronje; England wicketkeeper-batter Lauren Winfield-Hill and Courtney Hill (who now plays rugby); and Australian fast bowler Megan Schutt and her wife, Jess Holyoake, who works as a facilities manager for Cricket Australia.
Brunt and Sciver, who both play for the English National team, got engaged in 2019. They were scheduled to get married in September, but the pandemic has delayed their plans.
Though Brunt and Sciver share the same room at tournaments— and basically everything else — they say they treat each other as teammates when they’re playing together.
“People respect us a lot and sometimes they encourage us to spend more time together,” Brunt told Cricket Magazine. “They’re like, ‘You two never go on a meal together. You’re always hanging out with all the rest of the team.’”
At behest of her then-coach, Brunt says she came out to her parents at 21 years old. It strained her relationship with her mother, who is deeply religious.
Sciver, meanwhile, says she told her parents about her sexuality after she had started dating Brunt. “If I wasn’t with Katherine, I could easily be with a man or a woman,” she said.
Brunt and Sciver’s teammates haven’t just accepted their relationship — they’ve embraced it. This past summer, they threw the couple a surprise fake wedding. They also double- and triple-date with their teammates.
“I don’t know where we get all these lovely guys from but they all seem the nicest guys on the planet,” Brunt said.
When the wedding does proceed, the team will be in attendance. If Brunt and Sciver cut down the number of guests, they could’ve proceeded with their special day as scheduled.
But they say it just wouldn’t have been the same without their teammates there.
“All our best friends are part of the England team, so if we didn’t want any of them there, we could just go ahead,” Brunt told the BBC.
As they say, the best things happen to those who wait. Brunt and Sciver will spend the rest of quarantine planning their wedding, and getting ready for the next tournament.
They will do it all together.