Dane van Niekerk says the Proteas women are excited to get their World Cup on the way, starting with their opener against Pakistan on 25 June.
South Africa had a successful qualifying campaign, which saw them end runners-up to India in the final. They were unbeaten in four matches before losing to India in the Super Sixes, and will look to exact some revenge when the teams clash in a quadrangular series in South Africa.
With a little over three months to the World Cup, South Africa will be hosting India, Zimbabwe and Ireland in the hopes of bolstering their preparation.
‘The quadrangular series is definitely going to play a big part in our preparation for the World Cup. We have some unfinished business with India and will want to get one up over them before we get to the World Cup, you know, a little payback for the World Cup Qualifier finals.
‘We’re also really excited to host Ireland, who were really good to us last year when we were there, and of course it’s always great to have Zimbabwe over, the match exposure for them will be priceless.’
The Proteas captain believes that the team’s pre-tournament preparation will serve them in good stead and by the time they reach England, her team will be a well-oiled machine.
‘We’ve been building up to this tournament for the last 18 months at least, and now that it’s around the corner, the excitement is building among the team,’ she commented.
‘We love playing against Pakistan, we have a healthy rivalry with them and we know that if we start well against them, the confidence boost going into the rest of the tournament will be key.’
‘We have a good track record against them and I’m confident that by the time we reach the tournament proper, we’ll be more than ready,’ she continued.
Looking ahead to the World Cup, Van Niekerk believes that the team will be ready to put their best feet forward.
‘We have a settled group of about 15 to 18 players, and I’m glad I won’t have the headache of selecting the final team. We have a good balance of youth and experience and a lot of really hungry players who are looking forward to getting to the World Cup and proving themselves worthy.
‘At the end of the day, this is what we have all been dreaming about since the day we decided to make cricket a career choice; representing our country at the highest level on the biggest stage in the world, and we’re keen to get to England and give women’s cricket a good advertisement.’
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