Proteas Women legend Mignon du Preez’s contribution to South African cricket has been honoured by the unveiling of the Mignon du Preez Gates at SuperSport Park.
The Proteas Women and Northerns Senior Women’s player was present at the unveiling of the gates ahead of the second T20I between South Africa and Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park on Friday.
The 29-year-old, who has scored close to 5 000 runs across both ODI and T20I formats for her country, was recognised for her contribution to the women’s game.
A native of Pretoria, Du Preez started her career at Northerns Cricket Union 20 years ago, and has since gone on to make 208 appearances for South Africa, leading the side on 97 occasions.
A dominant middle-order batter, Du Preez’s performances at the highest level earned her contracts in England’s KIA Super League and Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League.
Speaking at the unveiling, a proud Du Preez said: ‘To be completely honest, I am lost for words. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine something would be named in my honour, and to have it at a stadium like SuperSport Park which I’ve seen as my “home ground” since I fell in love with cricket as a four-year-old, is truly special.
‘I would not be the person or player I am today if it wasn’t for the Union, which provided me with the necessary opportunities to become a national player. A special thank you to Wally Nel (NCU Administrator) and Martelize van der Merwe (NCU Women’s Coach), who have invested hours into developing me into the player I am today.’
In what is being described as a historic moment for the stadium, SuperSport Park chief executive officer, Dr Jacques Faul, added that ‘it’s the first time SuperSport Park has named a gate in honour of a player. It’s fitting that a gate should be named after Mignon.
‘She plied her trade at the Union and captained South Africa. She was one of the first professional female cricketers, a great player, an ambassador of the game and a wonderful person. SuperSport Park is privileged to honour her.
‘I would like to thank South African Breweries for their involvement in bringing this iconic initiative to fruition. Without their support this would not have been possible.’
Photo: Cricket South Africa