The Proteas’ preparation for the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 begins in earnest this week when they embark on a five-match, Twenty20 (T20) series against India in Potchefstroom.
The first match takes place on Tuesday at Senwes Park Stadium where the hosts will hope to get their campaign off to a winning start.
South African all-rounder, Marizanne Kapp is looking forward to the change in format and believes her team is ready to put their best foot forward. With experienced campaigners such as herself, captain Dané van Niekerk, Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee and Suné Luus having played in at least one Women’s Big Bash or Super League tournament in recent years, Kapp is confident that the hosts have more than what it takes to be competitive in the series.
“We’re very excited for the start of the T20 series,” she commented. “It’s a nice shift away from the ODIs and with the way that we won the last game, the momentum is with us going into this series. The team enjoys T20 cricket, I’d say it’s our favourite format because we’re such a strong squad in this format. We have a lot of big hitters who can make a game really exciting and I still say we have one of the best bowling units in the world, so it’s really an exciting time for us.”
With the World T20 taking place in the West Indies this November, South Africa want to begin getting their best combinations together and it all starts with this first series against an equally potent Indian outfit.
“The World T20 is the ultimate goal this year,” Kapp continued. “Tomorrow, we start the building blocks towards taking the number one spot in the world. Every player in our team is capable and deserving of being here and plays an important role in the team’s success and we’re going to have to make sure that we get our combinations and balance right by the time with land in the West Indies.
“For now, we concentrate on India who are also a really strong side and play an aggressive brand of T20 cricket. The margin for error in this format is very small so we’re going to have to play our best cricket in every over. All that being said, we’re really looking forward to this new challenge and I’m confident of our team’s chances.”
The first two matches will be streamed live on the Cricket South Africa YouTube channel, with the remaining fixtures broadcast live on SuperSport 2 as part of KFC T20 double-headers alongside their respective men’s teams. Kapp is delighted to be playing in front of a broader audience again and believes that this is the only way forward for the women’s game in South Africa.
“It’s great that we can have our games streamed and also televised. I think after the brilliant World Cup we had last year, we deserve to have more exposure and it’s good for the game to have more young girls wanting to play cricket. All that’s left from us now is just to perform.”
Proteas T20 squad:
Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Trisha Chetty (Gauteng), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Gauteng), Masabata Klaas (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Odine Kirsten (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Lizelle Lee (North West), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland).
Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Enoch Nkwe (Assistant Coach), Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist), Russell Clarke (Trainer), Abram Ramoadi (Performance Analyst), Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison).
Proteas Women’s Tour Schedule
February 13: Day @ 13h00 1st T20 International, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
February 16: Day @ 13h00 2nd T20 International, Buffalo Park, East London
February 18: Day @ 09h45 3rd T20 International, Bidvest Wanderers, Johannesburg
February 21: Day @ 13h00 4th T20 International, SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 24: Day @ 13h00 5th T20 International, PPC Newlands, Cape Town