World Cup

Proteas women hoping for favourable pitch conditions ahead of international return

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  • Proteas women’s captain Sune Luus admitted that they spoke to the Kingsmead groundsmen ahead of Wednesday opening ODI against Pakistan.
  • The Proteas women will play in Durban for the first time as they play three ODIs and three T20s.
  • Luus says losing the injured Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon has not been ideal, but the side is ready for their international return.

Proteas captain Sune Luus says they have spoken to Kingsmead ground staff ahead of their return to international cricket.

Wednesday’s opening ODI against Pakistan will be the Proteas women’s first game since last year’s T20 World Cup semi-final loss to Australia in March.

Pakistan’s tour of South Africa consists of three ODIs and three T20s and will be played behind-closed-doors at Kingsmead in Durban.

The Proteas women have never played in Durban before and will be relying on the expertise of their coaches during their limited-overs series.

“We’ve never played at Kingsmead, we have some coaches who know the conditions extremely well, we’ve had the preparation with them and their guidance, we know what to expect. We are ready to take on the conditions.”

Luus revealed that the Proteas have chatted to the Kingsmead groundsmen, hoping for favourable wickets.

“We played Pakistan two years ago in Benoni and Potchefstroom. We asked the groundsmen nicely to make sure the conditions suit us so we know what we have/want to do and how their bowlers normally work. Hopefully, we can be better than them on the day.”

Luus will stand in as Proteas skipper for Dane van Niekerk, who was ruled out of the series due to injury. The Proteas women will also be without vice-captain Chloe Tryon.

Luus states that although it is “not ideal” losing their two stars, she is confident that their side have enough depth to overcome Pakistan.

“Obviously not having our captain and vice-captain on tour is not ideal,” said Luus.

“Luckily, we have depth with our youngsters coming through and we have a couple of senior players, who are hungry to take responsibility. Without them, we still have a great team.

“The goal for us is to go out tomorrow and make our mark from the first ball … We have grown as a team since and have worked extremely hard to get our ODI game into a position where we can be a force to be reckoned with, especially with an eye on next year’s World Cup.”

Luus believes that the Proteas won’t show too many signs of cobwebs thanks to their participation in several T20 tournaments around the world.

“We’ve had a lot of middle practises and not just the nets over the last few months. I don’t think it’ll be anything new to playing a competitive game tomorrow,” said Luus.

“We had eight players in the Big Bash and two in the Women’s T20 Challenge in Dubai. I’m hoping with the extra game time that we’ve had, we’ll be able to take on the conditions. We’ve had some more game time than the Pakistan team so hopefully, that’s an advantage to us.

“We also had the Women’s Super League in South Africa where we played three to four games competitively. So all the women have had their fair share of time in the middle.” 

The first of the three-match ODIs is scheduled to get underway on Wednesday at 10:00.

Proteas women’s squad:

Sune Luus (captain), Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper), Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Tumi Sekhukhune, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Lara Goodall, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Faye Tunnicliffe, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits

Proteas women v Pakistan women:

ODI

Wednesday, 20 January – 1st ODI at 10:00

Saturday, 23 January – 2nd ‘Black Day’ ODI at 10:00

Tuesday, 26 January – 3rd ODI at 10:00

T20I

Friday, 29 January – 1st T20I at 15:30

Sunday, 31 January – 2nd T20I at 15:30

Wednesday, 3 February – 3rd T20I at 15:30

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