The Proteas enjoyed a reasonably successful tournament in Sri Lanka. They moved up two places to number six in the rankings and qualified for the 2014 Women’s World T20. Photo: Sipokazi Sokanyile

The Proteas have taken a lot of positives from the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 (T20) in Sri Lanka where they finished 6th. The team has climbed up two places to number six on the ranking and they have qualified for the next Women’s World T20 in 2014.

Shabnim Ismail, who was one of the standout performers for the National Women’s Cricket team in Sri Lanka, says they have learnt a lot from the tournament that they would like to take forward to the 50 over World Cup in February next year.

“The conditions were very difficult and the wickets kept low. We need to learn to adapt quickly. We need to work on being patient.”

“Other than that, we are pretty happy with what we’ve achieved. Our batting, fielding and bowling has improved. The team has been together for a while now and are more experienced.”

Proteas (from left) Susan Benade, Sunette Loubser, Yolandi van der Westhuizen, Marcia Letsoalo, Shabnim Ismail and Dinesha Devnarain smile during the ICC Women's World T20 in Sri Lanka. Photo: Sipokazi Sokanyile

Head of CSA Women’s Cricket Max Jordaan agrees. “There was initial disappointment but we are satisfied with the performance.”

“We are now looking ahead to the ODI World Cup in India next year where I believe we will perform much better. We will need to iron out a few issues before, like our ability to recover. But you have a lot more time to do that in an ODI than you do in T20.”

Jordaan says he is happy with the state of women’s cricket in the country especially after watching the Women’s World T20. “It was a very exciting presentation,” he says.

“We now know what our challenges are but the upside is that the team has never been better. We also have good plans in place to help develop the next generation of female cricket stars. We have good regional coaches and good conditioning and fitness centres. We are working on introducing women’s cricket in rural areas as well.”

But Jordaan does admit that a few things need to change if the women’s game is to grow even more. “We need more funding to take women’s cricket to the next level. South Africa is currently the only country in the top 8 teams that doesn’t have contracts for female players.”

CSA Media Officer for Women’s Cricket Sipokazi Sokanyile, who travelled with the team to Sri Lanka, is also very impressed with the standard of women’s cricket.

“The quality of our team has increased tenfold over last couple of years. We’ve gone up two places in the T20 rankings and our ODI squad is even better. I believe that we have the ability to one day challenge for the ODI and T20 World Cup.”

“The team is feeling confident because we now know how to play in the sub-continent.”

The Proteas’ next series will be a Test Series against Australia in Australia in November.