Lizelle Lee suggests that Monday’s warm-up game against England will test the Proteas’ new positive approach that they worked on during the post-World Cup preparations.
The Proteas Women’s ICC Women’s World T20 pre-tournament camp has commenced in earnest in Antigua and the team are in high spirits ahead of the T20 competition which will run from 9-24 November in the West Indies.
Opening batter Lizelle Lee is delighted by the way the team has gone about their training sessions so far and believes they are well on their way to a good showing in the tournament.
South Africa’s camp includes two unofficial warm-up matches against England and India on 29 October and 1 November respectively before they set out for St Lucia where they will begin their Group A participation in the tournament proper. They will face defending champions West Indies, England, Sri Lanka and World Cup Qualifier winners Bangladesh.
Lee believes that these matches will be the perfect opportunity for the team to measure their progress before the competition and will give them a good idea as to what areas still need to be improved.
‘The team is looking really good,’ she said. ‘We had our first training session yesterday and we hit the ground running. The mood in the camp is very good, we’re excited to be here and are looking forward to tomorrow’s warm-up game against England.
‘You always want to win games of cricket but I don’t think that we’re too bothered about that for tomorrow. We want to see how we go about the things that we have been working on, to try and see what works for us and what doesn’t.
‘We’ve come a long way since the England tour in June and this will be a good opportunity for us to see how we go and if the lessons have stuck. Hopefully, the girls will score a few good runs and take some wickets and we’ll see if we’re implementing the things we have been working on well enough.’
The Proteas have put a lot of emphasis on playing a more positive and attacking brand of cricket and Lee wants to see the implementation of those plans, especially in the batting department when they take to the crease tomorrow.
‘For me, one of the outcomes that I really want to see from tomorrow’s game is how we go about playing positively especially in the batting,’ she continued. ‘I also want to see us making the most of the conditions we are given by adapting to them a lot faster than we have done in the past.’
South Africa come off the back of a moderately good tour of the West Indies where they drew both the three-match ODI and five-match T20 series.
Lee said that the tour went a long way in helping their preparation for the World T20. The majority of their players had never played in the Windies before and struggled to adapt to conditions, but now they are fully prepared for what is to come and look forward to applying their knowledge.
‘I was just saying to [coach] Hilton [Moreeng] yesterday that we could have been in Pretoria right now having a pre-camp there which wouldn’t have prepared us half as well as what we’re doing here. Credit to CSA for helping us to get here earlier so that we can adapt again to the conditions before the tournament gets started. The rest is now up to us.’
The first warm-up match against England will take place at the Liberta Sports Club and will begin at 7pm SAST.
Proteas ICC Women’s World T20 Squad: Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal) Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Masabata Klaas (North West), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Zintle Mali (Border), Robyn Searle (Gauteng), Tumi Sekhukhune (Easterns) Saarah Smith (Western Province), Trisha Chetty (Gauteng).
Management: Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Salieg Nackerdien (Assistant Coach), Sedibu Mohlaba (Manager), Abram Ramoadi (Performance Analyst), Russell Clarke (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Molebatsi Theletsane (Physiotherapist), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Liaison).