Amy Hunter: Irish cricketer determined to continue on 'upwards curve' after century against Zimbabwe

Irish cricketer Amy Hunter is determined to continue on "an upward curve" after Ireland completed a clean sweep of five T20 wins over Zimbabwe.

Hunter played a key role in the victory in the series opener, hitting her first Twenty20 international century with an unbeaten 101 off 66 ball.

In doing so, she became the first Irish woman to record a ton against a full International Cricket Council member.

"I was pretty chuffed, to be honest," said the 18-year-old.

"I just wanted some runs on the board so I'm absolutely delighted with 101."

Ireland had an eight-match tour of Zimbabwe, with three one day internationals and five T20 contests.

They secured a 2-0 series win in the ODIs in Harare, before recording five wins from five in the T20 series.

Hunter was pleased with her performances on the tour and the fact that she has once again made history, becoming the only Irish women's cricketer to score an international century in both the ODI and T20 formats.

The Belfast native made global headlines October 2021 when, on her 16th birthday, she became the youngest player to hit an international century in a one-day victory over Zimbabwe.

She still, however, believes there is room for improvement in her game.

"It was a great couple of weeks, for the side to come away with seven wins and one draw on the tour, it was definitely successful for the girls."

"I'm delighted to get the second one [century for Ireland]. At the time when you get one you are delighted, but its nice to be able to back it up and prove it is not one innings."

She continued: "I'm pretty happy, I probably would have liked a little bit more over the last two games and potentially out of the second two games, but overall I'm happy."

'My biggest dream is to play professional cricket'

Reflecting on her career with Ireland to date, Hunter admits she is surprised by her achievements in such a short space of time.

She made her Ireland debut at 15 in a T20 game against Scotland in 2021, before she became one of nine Irish women's players signed up on a part-time/educational basis at 16.

"A lot of hard work goes in, but I never thought I would have achieved as much as I have so young and I want to keep continuing that way."

Looking ahead, Hunter still harbours ambitions of playing professional cricket, but is hoping to continue her education at university first.

"I think I am going to go to university in Dublin, where Cricket Ireland is based, which would be more convenient and I'll see how that goes, that is the plan.

"It is my biggest dream to play professional cricket and travel around the world with that and then tie franchise cricket into that would be amazing."

For now, she insists her full focus is on an important year with Ireland, where she hopes to continue to rewrite the history books.

"We have pretty important World Cup qualifiers coming up in April and May, then we have a home summer series against Sri Lanka and England.

"Hopefully at the backend of the year, if all goes well we'll have a World Cup and then Bangladesh away, so it's a pretty hectic year, but I'm excited for it."