Women’s Cricket Forges Ahead
Things may have seemed a bit quiet after the National Women’s Cricket team’s successful five-match ODI home series against Pakistan earlier this year.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Since April, work has continued behind the scenes to ensure that the national team is raring to go for their European Tour, which gets underway later in July.
The team departs for Netherlands on 26 July to play one test and three ODIs against the Dutch. On 6 August, they arrive in England for two limited overs matches against England A at Taunton College.
The next encounters are two Twenty20 matches at the Somerset County Cricket Ground on 10 August, against New Zealand in the morning, and against England A in the afternoon, before leaving for home the next day.
This tour to the Netherlands and England is the first back-to-back tours undertaken by the SA Women and Cricket South Africa’s manager of Senior Amateur Cricket, Max Jordaan can barely hide his excitement.
“The short stay in England would provide SA an opportunity to assess their relative progress towards the higher echelons of Women cricketing nations, after a rather disappointing home World Cup.
“Much has changed within the team environment, and much is expected from the current re-energised squad, that is younger, fitter and more task centered,” Jordaan told gsport.
Although the SA team hasn’t played together as a unit since the Pakistan series, Jordaan is hoping that those players who did duty in the Women’s Afro-Asia Twenty20 Challenge in Bangalore recently, will carry that confidence into this upcoming tour.
“Alicia Smith and Ashlyn Kilowan impressed with their bowling exploits that reduced the Asian X1 to 4 for 2 within two overs. Their ability to create shape on the ball and extract movement off the wicket was noteworthy.
“Cri-Zelda Brits had an extremely difficult task to develop coalescence within a team that met 24 hours prior to their match against Asia. Her relative success to restrict Asia to 105 within 20 overs was indicative of her special aptitude in reading the game.
“Trisha Chetty,” continued Jordaan, “Despite dropping an early sharp chance from Alicia’s bowling, was excellent behind the stumps.”
Speaking to gsport, Cri-Zelda said that the experience in India couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I’m quite excited, because the South African players in the African side did so well against the Asian players, especially my bowlers.
“After the Netherlands tour, we play England and New Zealand in England and this experience will stand us in good stead.
“It was also just a bonus to play in Asia since we have the World Cup qualifiers in Pakistan at the end of the year and it was awesome to play against some of the Indian players who were in the Asian eleven.”
“We (African XI) hadn’t played together before and it was also the first ever continental women’s Twenty20 match, so it was very exciting, and there was lots of TV coverage. That’s the type of exposure that women’s cricket needs.”
Twenty20 Cricket is currently all the rage in women’s cricket. New Zealand’s women’s skipper. Haidee Tiffen, speaking ahead of the Rose Bowl Series against Australia later this month, talked up the idea of women’s Twenty20 cricket, and described the idea of having the women’s Twenty20 game before the men’s Twenty20 game as an excellent innovation.
“It’s a brilliant format of the game. It provides a great spectacle for the public and is enjoyable to play. It is a great way to promote our game and now some women’s games are played before the men which is even a better idea as it helps us to play a more aggressive and expansive game at pace.”
The SA National Women’s Cricket Team:
Cri-Zelda Brits (Capt) (NW)
Johmari Logtenberg (Vice) (KZN)
Susan Benade (FS)
Trisha Chetty (KZN)
Mignon du Preez (NOR)
Lonell de Beer (NOR)
Shibman Ismail (WP)
Ashlyn Kilowan (WP)
Marcia Letsoalo (NOR)
Sunette Loubser (BOL)
Annelie Minnie (FS)
Alicia Smith (BOL)
Claire Terblanche (BOL)
Daleen Terblanche (GAU)
26 Jul – Arrive in Netherlands
27 Jul – Practice / Training
28 Jul – Test Match Day 1
29 Jul – Test Match Day 2
30 Jul – Test Match Day 3
31 Jul – Test Match Day 4
1 Aug – Rest Day
2 Aug – ODI 1
3 Aug – Rest Day
4 Aug – ODI 2
5 Aug – ODI 3
6 Aug – SA depart for England
6 Aug – Arrive in England
7 Aug – Match vs England A at Taunton College
8 Aug – Match vs England A at Taunton College
9 Aug – Practice Day
10 Aug – T20 matches vs New Zealand (am) and England A (pm) (Somerset)
11 Aug – SA depart for home