WESTFIELD (CBS) — When Ashley Kerekes was choosing what name to use on Twitter three-and-a-half years ago, she never thought she’d become an international sensation.
But that’s just what’s happened to the young woman in Westfield in the past few days.
Kerekes, 22 and a Maine native, chose the name @theashes. It was a nickname her boyfriend gave her several years ago. It just happens to be the same name as a series of cricket matches played between rivals England and Australia for the next month.
She explains the confusion started overnight Thursday into Friday. Kerekes had her twitter account set up so that anytime someone referenced her, it sent a notification, like a text message, to her phone.
“I started to get all these notifications in the middle of the night,” she said. “They were waking me up in the middle of the night and I was kind of ticked off.”
Friday night she posted, “I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH” and she discontinued the notifications.
On Sunday she was out with her aunt when a friend sent her a direct message, a note that only she could see, saying that someone was trying to get contact information for her and she should check it out.
Kerekes went back online and saw he wanted to know “about a cricket business.” That’s when she checked her notifications and she had thousands.
“Most were making fun. They were asking ‘Are you a cricket match?’, asking for my name, scores, using random terminology,” she said.
Before any of this started, Kerekes knew cricket was a game, but she didn’t know much about it. And she admits she still doesn’t know much about it. But she’s having fun learning about the game.
The number of people following her on Twitter jumped to 3,000 initially and now has more than 10,000. Kerekes is now getting online often and responding to people who were sending her messages.
“All of a sudden people are trying to send me to Australia.”
While nothing is confirmed yet, she does say it’s “probably going to happen.”
Kerekes has talked with media around the world from morning shows in Australia to CNN International to writing for a blog in South Africa. And she’s hearing via Twitter from people in the UK, Asia and India.
Each cricket match lasts five days and they play seven hours a day, so she’s getting plenty of messages. She said in one half hour span of time she got 150 messages. Not bad for someone who started to use the microblogging site to exchange messages with her boyfriend.
Asked whether she would consider selling, or at least lending, her Twitter handle to someone for the duration of the cricket matches, Kerekes says it’s unlikely.
“I’ve been tweeting on it for three-and-a-half years, I could go back and I have a ton of memories on here.”
Until she actually gets to Australia to see a match, Kerekes is working on figuring out how she’ll be able to see Thursday night’s, Friday’s match in Australia.
“I’m trying to figure out where online I can watch it that’s not sketchy and not illegal.”