Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday announced the 14-strong Proteas women’s squad that will travel to India from 8-30 November.
The team will play their first Test match in eight years in Mysore from 16 to 19 November. They travel to India for a one-off Test, a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series and a once-off Twenty20 (T20) match.
CSA General Manager of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl said: ‘During the recent tour to Sri Lanka, the Proteas women’s team have excelled in both the ODI and T20 competition in sub-continent conditions. The team continues to grow and impress. The investment made in the team is certainly paying off and they are contributing to raising their profile within world cricket.
‘Playing Test cricket will be instrumental for the process of growing and advancing the cricket skills of our players. We currently have a young and inexperienced team which will take value from playing another format. The time spent in winter at the first National Academy programme for women will stand them in good stead during this key learning phase of their cricket careers. This is just another positive step in increasing the profile and opportunity of growth within women’s cricket,’ he concluded.
This next step in the team’s journey is a big deal to coach, Hilton Moreeng. ‘This will be a very exciting time for the team,’ he commented. ‘We only have two players who have played a Test match and that was years ago. It is fantastic that SA cricket are now upping the ante and giving the team yet another challenge for us to apply our minds to. We are all fans of the purest format of the game and we have been in discussions about getting back into it for a long while; we’re grateful to CSA and BCCI for facilitating this for us.’
South Africa’s last Test was against the Netherlands at Rotterdam, where they beat the hosts by 159 runs.
‘As we have never won a Test against India, this will be a great time to correct that, but more than anything else, we are just excited to get back to playing the longer format and we will use this match to plot our way forward from there. We have a really good blend of youth and experience that I believe will carry us through well in not just the Test, but the ODIs that all fall under the ICC Women’s Championship and T20 subsequent to that,’ he continued.
The team sees the inclusion of Gauteng’s Nonkululeko Thabethe and the return of wicketkeeper/batter, Savanna Cordes.
The latter took some time off from international cricket when medical school commitments made it difficult to pursue both.
‘I’m so excited to be back with the team again,’ Cordes, whose last tour was in the ICC Women’s World Cup in February 2013, commented. ‘I’ve been working long hours in between school to make sure I stay on top of my game and that I’m match ready while I played provincial cricket and I’m just glad that I can make this comeback and be re-united with my team.’
Thabethe is delighted and honoured to be selected for this ground-breaking tour. She said: ‘I can’t wait to go to India and represent my country, this is a dream come true. It just goes to show that hard work really does pays off. I hope that I can make a good impact on the team and learn a lot while I’m out there.’
Proteas squad: Mignon du Preez (capt, Northerns), Trisha Chetty (vice capt, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Savana Cordes (Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Western Province), Yolani Fourie (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Lizelle Lee (North West), Matshipi “Marcia” Letsoalo (Northerns), Nadine Moodley (KZN Coastal), Nonkululeko Thabethe (Gauteng), Chloe Tryon (KZN Coastal), Dané van Niekerk (Eastern Province).
Coaching staff: Hilton Moreeng (Head Coach), Marcia Beyl (Manager), Karlien Hauman (Physiotherapist), Abram Ramoadi (Video Analyst), Russell Clarke (Fitness Trainer).
16-19 November: Test match
24 November: 1st ODI
26 November: 2nd ODI
28 November: 3rd ODI
30 November: Only T20