After more than a decade at the top of the order, Mignon du Preez is set to become the first South African woman to play 100 T20 Internationals when the Proteas Women take the field against England in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on Sunday.
‘Growing up I always wanted to represent my country and to reach the milestone at the World Cup is pretty special. It really is a dream come true,’ commented Du Preez.
Second to skipper Dane van Niekerk on South Africa’s T20I runs chart, the right-hander has so far amassed 1,666 runs, including seven fifties, and has a strike rate in excess of 100.
Her reliability with the bat earned her stints in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League and England’s Super League.
Not only has the 30 year-old made a name for herself out in the middle, but as a former captain, Du Preez enjoyed success – notably when she led the Proteas to their first-ever T20 World Cup semi-final in 2014.
‘We had a final group game against New Zealand,’ recalled Du Preez.
‘They had their bags packed the night before as if they were going to the semis. Our girls saw that and thought, “No, that’s not going to happen – we’re going to make sure those bags are packed for a different reason.”
‘And that’s exactly what we did. I played one of the better knocks of my career and was named player of the match.
‘Then comes the lowlight. Playing in the semi-final. It was the first time we played on the big stage. The match was televised and the moment got the better of us.’
Du Preez now finds herself playing in her seventh T20 World Cup and strongly believes South Africa have every chance of booking their place in the final on 8 March at the MCG in Melbourne.
‘I definitely think this is the year. It just feels different. There’s an excitement around the group that this is the year we take it one step further and bring the trophy back home,’ she added.
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