SA women up momentum ahead of Pak series

Johannesburg: South Africa will host Pakistan in the ICC Women’s Championship and T20I series, beginning May 6. As the tour is drawing closer, preparation levels have intensified from Proteas’ point of view.

In the wake of heightened preparations, an 18-member squad commenced its four-day national camp on Monday.
Assistant coach Salieg Nackerdien said the coaching staff was pleased with the intensity of the group on the opening day of camp. He stressed on the importance of building steady momentum going into the tour in order to collect six vital points from the ICC Women’s Championship ODI series.

“We had a good (National) Women’s Week a couple of weeks ago and our top six batters dominated the scene and that’s what we talked about in the previous camp, so that was excellent to see. For momentum purposes going into that Pakistan series in a couple of weeks, I think it’s important that they are still in that good space and getting into those good habits,” Nackerdien said in a statement put out by Cricket South Africa.

“What we want to achieve at the end of the day is to get those six points but it’s all up to us going forward in this camp and into the other one just before the start of the tour in a couple of weeks’ time. So, preparation-wise we’ve got enough time, but for now, we need to focus on the basics keep the momentum going,” he said.

The coach was also impressed with the hard work that players have evidently put in during their time away from camp. He further said it pleased him to no end to see so much competition for places in the national team. The type of environment and culture that they have worked hard to create looks to finally be manifesting itself.

“I’m very happy with where we’re at. It’s great that you can’t just put a (squad of) eleven together, players are knocking on the door and putting their names forward. That’s what we want to create – a big pool – but also a pool that’s competitive and that’s consistent and not just handed opportunities so that the players that are there already know that the only way of securing their place is by putting in the performances,” the coach said.

“I think it’s tremendous that the players are getting along so well. The new girls are being welcomed in with open arms and to see the seniors helping the juniors with their extras after the live nets that we had today is just what you want to see as a coach. This is the culture that we have been building and want to strengthen moving forward. If we can grow this type of mentality and take it further, I think we can achieve great things,” Nackerdien said.

Following is the national women’s camp squad: Yolani Fourie, Nadine de Klerk, Chloe Tryon, Moseline Daniels, Zintle Mali, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas, Lara Goodall, Tazmin Brits, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez, Sinalo Jafta, Nondumiso Shangase, Izel Cilliers, Evodia Yekile.

Meanwhile, the South African squad that will take on Pakistan will be announced on April 22.

South Africa and Pakistan will play three ODIs from May 6 to 12, followed by five-match T20I series, which will run from May 15-23.