Twenty-one of South Africa’s most talented women’s cricketers are undergoing a rigorous five-day training camp at the Powerade Centre of Excellence in Pretoria.
The camp includes all of the contracted members of the national team, with the exception of captain Dane van Niekerk, vice-captain Chloe Tryon and Marizanne Kapp. Van Niekerk was ruled out as she continues to work on her recovery from a stress fracture, while Tryon and Kapp could not participate due to illness.
Faye Tunnicliffe, Saarah Smith and Lara Goodall (who participated in the recently concluded and successful tour against Sri Lanka) were excused due to academic commitments.
National coach Hilton Moreeng was impressed with the first day’s outing and is looking forward to a selection headache ahead of South Africa’s inbound tour against Pakistan in May.
‘For us as a team, post the Sri Lanka tour, it was to touch base with the rest of the squad and see where all the players are as far as skills are concerned,’ he said. ‘It’s a chance to look back on the things that we did well, to make sure that we continue doing that, and it’s just really good to have frequent contact sessions with players to make sure we continue on the road that we started against Sri Lanka.
‘Our objective is very simple,’ the coach continued. ‘It’s a year to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, and while that is important, we have a direct qualification for the 2021 World Cup to consider as well, so we need to make sure that we are on top of our game always.
‘We want to keep the players focused on the goals ahead and make sure we don’t lose sight of what needs to happen in the upcoming tour (against Pakistan). We also want to have a look at some new faces coming through the pipeline, and keep an eye on some players with niggles and get an idea of what we have to work with,’ he added.
The camp also includes members of the recently named Powerade Women’s National Academy, these additions made so that Moreeng and the national selectors are able to take a look at young and upcoming players. The coach also said it was important for young players to be exposed to the standards of the national team early in order to prevent culture shock were they to be selected in future.
‘What is really exciting for us is that we’re starting to grow the base. Where we had one player per position, we’re starting to have three or four quality players.
‘As you saw in the past series, we had some key players injured and missing due to fitness etc, but the youngsters came in and played like old pros. That’s what was really pleasing to see from a coach’s point of view, the competitiveness in the squad is very good,’ Moreeng concluded.
CSA National Women’s Camp squad
Lizelle Lee (North West)
Robyn Searle (Gauteng)
Yolani Fourie (Gauteng)
Nadine de Klerk (Northerns)
Moseline Daniels (Border)
Zintle Mali (Border)
Nonkululeko Thabete (Gauteng)
Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng)
Trisha Chetty (Gauteng)
Tumi Sekhukhune (North West)
Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng)
Masabata Klaas (North West)
Ayabonga Khaka (Gauteng)
Andrie Steyn (Western Province)
Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
Tazmin Brits (North West)
Sune Luus (Northerns)
Mignon du Preez (Northerns)
Sinalo Jafta (North West)
Nondumiso Shangase (KZN Coastal)
Verunissa Reddy (Easterns)
Photo: Cricket South Africa