2010/11 Champions Northerns pose with their trophy after beating KwaZulu-Natal in the CSA Women's Provincial League final at Kingsmead Stadium on April 10, 2011 at Kingsmead in Durban. Photo: Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

Teams are looking forward to the start of the 2011/2012 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s Provincial League this Saturday, 8 October 2011. The two Western Cape powerhouses Boland and Western Province (WP) will be going head to head in a match that will hopefully set the tone for the rest of the season.

Note: Please see the CSA Women’s Competition Fixtures 2011/2012 for the CSA Women’s Provincial League 2011/2012 fixtures.

WP coach Peter Harold values Proteas all-rounder Shandré Fritz as key to his team’s prospects for the 2011/12 season. Photo: Supplied WP coach Peter Harold is excited to get the new season started; “We’ve been training for the past six weeks and getting to know one another as I’m still new to the team. We are all looking forward to getting started especially with Boland who is the strongest side in our pool.

“We have an exciting crop of young players and our two national players Shandré Fritz and Shabnim Ismail, will add the experience needed. Olivia Anderson is also back in the team after her time in the England County circuit and we look forward to seeing what she will have to bring to the team,” he said.

Defending champions Northerns will be looking to successfully defend their hard won title. Coach Martelize van der Merwe has focussed more on the basics for the upcoming season; “We have concentrated on our learnings from the semi-finals last year and brushed up on our performance on the field. We are also looking for more variation in the bowling and will be announcing our new captain soon.

“We are looking forward to an action packed season with lots of highs under the new leadership and our national team members, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk and Melissa Smook,” she said.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are considered the team to beat by most sides this season. Their discipline over the last few years has given them a reputation of being the team to look out for and the Durban-based side is proud to have that effect.

Coach Horatius Sokhanyile said, “We have worked extremely hard to get to where we are. We have a dedicated team of players who are happy to train tirelessly and go above and beyond the call of duty for their province.

We are looking forward to this new season and have left the disappointment of losing last year’s final behind us. We are looking to concentrate on all the areas that have let us down and we have a devoted group of senior players that the promising youngsters can look up to,” he commented.

Eastern Province are looking forward to going further this season. The plan is to take each match as it comes and to move on from there. Their fresh crop of young players are rearing to go out there and prove themselves.

Coach Adam Cotton: “We have an experienced group that will be good back-up for our new players. Our performances in the Super Fours have shown that all the hard work we have done is beginning to bear fruit.

“Our most difficult opposition in this pool would be the Western Cape teams and we can’t wait to get the ball rolling. I always tell my team that if you believe in your talent and back yourself up everything else will take care of itself.”

CSA Senior Cricket Manager Max Jordaan has high hopes for this season; “Women’s cricket kicked off with the Super Fours which made teams realize their strengths and weaknesses. The England Series will whet potential future national players’ interest and drive them to work hard enough to be included in the High Performance Programme.

“I am looking forward to an exciting series of women’s cricket this season,” he said.

This weekend promises to bring lots of drama and excitement as old rivals go head to head and new rivalries are formed. Weaker teams will look to prove themselves while the stronger sides will set out to put an early stamp on the League and their intentions for it.