Cricket South Africa has heaped praise on Western Province as it urges its Affiliates to ensure growth in participation at all levels of the game, saying that more time in the game is paramount for excellence in the sport.
Speaking to gsport4girls following the conclusion of the 2012/2013 season, Max Jordaan, CSA’s manager of Senior Cricket, said: “Our Affiliates need to support the females to a greater extent, and the growth in participation numbers within organised and disciplined club structures is important.
“The provincial teams should be supported by dedicated staff who would take responsibility for skills and conditioning. This can only happen if the females play actual games, albeit club, zonal or regional competitions,” he added.
Although her team is yet to secure sponsorships, Western Province Alexis le Breton remains upbeat about the future of women’s provincial cricket.
“We need more coverage and promotion,” agrees Western Province Alexis le Breton. “Although this past season has been a good one with ‘From the Clubhouse’ – a local show in Cape Town, focusing a bit on the women’s game, and getting involved.”
Le Breton put her team’s double success this past season down to team work. “I think the fact that we played as a team, with everyone contributing at different stages, played a huge part. We did not depend on only one or two players.”
Le Breton was particularly pleased with the performance of the WC unit in the Super Fours, which she believes is the only format that really tests the strong teams.
“The Super Fours was very successful for us – undefeated in the three games, and pushing boundaries with the scores we set. Once again, it was a team effort.”
Jordaan had special words of praise for the Western Province Cricket Association, after Western Province won the CSA Women’s Provincial League title and the Western Cape outfit were victorious in the Super Fours competition.
“The WPCA Board is fully behind their team, and they are particularly keen on team support, fitness and conditioning. The team has arguably the best opening bowling attack in the league. This is followed through by a good variety of medium pace and spin bowling.”
Jordaan believes that CSA’s support of women’s cricket is at its optimum. He says structures have been developed and a clear pathway has been established. He pointed to established school, club, provincial and regional competitions, to a High Performance training programme that feeds into an emerging squad, and ultimately into a training squad and national team.
“This High Performance programme is accompanied with stringent protocols for conditioning. The latter is overseen by a dedicated biokineticist as well as a physiotherapist on a regular basis. CSA is in a process to appoint a full-time coach in concert with the sports science support staff, as well as a technical advisor, who would be on contract on a year-on-year or project basis.”
For many years, the national team selected itself from the provincial league, but Jordaan feels the standard at provincial level needs to improve, to get players better skilled in their disciplines.
“The South African players need to take responsibility to work harder than any other female player in the world, in order to maintain global competitiveness.”