A South African national women’s cricket squad has been announced to participate in a camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria between 20 and 22 April 2007, with a view to settling the squad to tour Netherlands and England between July and August this year.
The domestic women’s cricket scene has seen the retirement of a couple of highly-experienced players during the past season, and Cricket SA will be keen to see a new crop of talent establish themselves.
The North-West’s prolific Cri-Zelda Brits has been named as captain following her good form in the recent home series against Pakistan, and she will be joined by the KwaZulu Natal captain Johmarie Logtenberg, who dominates the domestic season’s batting averages with Northern’s Mignon du Preez, also named in the squad.
Despite failing to name her in the squad, the selectors will be certain to be mulling over Western Province’s Shandre Fritz, who was named to captain the national side for the Pakistan tour to South Africa in January 2007, before a severe neck injury sidelined her.
Fritz may yet force her way back into the national setup, if she’s able to turn in a good performance in this weekend’s provincial tournament final.
Fritz played in her first game against Northerns on Saturday past, and her return was a welcome sign for WP captain Olivia Anderson, when Fritz took two wickets in her 10 overs, to assist in the home side’s progression to the provincial final this weekend.
The tours to England and the Netherlands will be viewed as a crucial preparation for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier tournament, to be played in Pakistan in November 2007.
The qualifiers involve hosts Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, Bermuda, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and South Africa, all of whom will vie for the two available slots in Australia’s 2009 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Teams that have automatically qualified for the cricket spectacular include hosts Australia, India, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, following their top-six finish in the 2005 World Cup, hosted by South Africa.
"November will be a very exciting month for women’s cricket as this event will be the inaugural women’s event under the ICC umbrella,” said Betty Timmer, Chairperson of ICC Women’s Committee.
"It is also an important phase of development for the women’s game for Papua New Guinea, Bermuda and Zimbabwe as it will be their first appearances at the WWCQ," she said.
SA Squad (Player, Province):
Brits Cri-Zelda (Capt) (North West)
Logtenberg Johmarie (V-Capt) (KwaZulu Natal)
Benade Susan (Free State)
Chetty Trisha (KwaZulu Natal)
Du Preez Mignon (Northerns)
De Beer Lonell (Northerns)
Ismail Shibnam (Western Province)
Kilowan Ashlyn (Western Province)
Letsoalo Marcia (Northerns)
Loubser Sunette (Boland)
Minny Annelie (Free State)
Smith Alicia (Boland)
Terblanche Claire (Boland)
Terblanche Daleen (Gauteng)